Michigan: Planned audits to follow certification of the Nov. 3, 2020, general election

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LANSING, Mich. – Throughout my tenure as Michigan Secretary of State, and indeed long before, I have spoken repeatedly on the importance of post-election audits to ensure Michiganders can trust the outcome of our elections as an accurate reflection of the will of the people.

I’m thrilled that we are on track to perform a statewide risk-limiting audit of November’s general election, which we’ve been building towards and planning for over the last 22 months, as well as local procedural audits of individual jurisdictions.

For example, earlier this year following the March 10 presidential primary my office conducted Michigan’s first statewide risk-limiting audit pilot, which demonstrated the results of our elections are accurate and provided an extra layer of security as we prepared for November’s election.

The statewide risk-limiting audit will be accompanied by the routine local procedural audits that will review the accuracy and process of elections in local communities, as have been carried out following the November 2019 election and May 2020 election. And as always, under state law our department conducts these audits after the Board of State Canvassers has certified the election. This is because it is only after statewide certification that election officials have legal access to the documentation needed to conduct such audits.

Importantly, while the Risk Limiting Audit is a proactive, voluntary, and planned action our office is taking to confirm the integrity of our elections and identify areas for future improvement, local procedural audits consider clerical errors identified before and on election day, in addition to issues identified during canvasses. This a typical, standard procedure following election certification, and one that will be carried out in Wayne County and any other local jurisdictions where the data shows notable clerical errors following state certification of the November election.

Notably, audits are neither designed to address nor performed in response to false or mythical allegations of “irregularities” that have no basis in fact. Where evidence exists of actual fraud or wrongdoing, it should be submitted in writing to the Bureau of Elections, which refers all credible allegations to the Attorney General’s office for further investigation.

3 COMMENTS

  1. If there was any evidence of fraud in Wayne county then Trump would have presented it in court. Minor count irregularities happen in every large county across the nation in every election.

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  2. Me thinks this will go as far as someplace close to *nowhere*.

    As the article says, the audit as a standard procedure not intended nor designed to address any wrongdoing that might have transpired during the election. Am I reading this correctly?

    In Wayne County, two election officials (I believe Republican) refused to certify what they thought were dubious election results, resulting in their being ostracized, yelled at, name called, essentially bullied (via videoconference) until they caved and certified the elections results. One speaker identified the school where one of the official’s grandchildren attend, and asked, more or less, how this would affect them (ouch). I’ve seen two separate videos on line showing the treatment the dissenting officials received. These officials now want to change their minds and issued affidavits accordingly, but whether this mind change is going to carry any legal weight is reported as questionable.

    Also, these two officials had originally certified on the condition that an audit be conducted…but what good an audit do if the audit isn’t intended or designed to deal with particular incidences of dishonesty in the use of the system, but rather just the system itself?

    In any event, I suspect that hands may now be washed, leaving lingering “what ifs?” regarding the integrity of election results on the part of many Michiganians. There have been reports of several complaints and affidavits issued from individuals seeing things that are not typical procedure (and not just by Donald Trump et al).

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