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Politics & Government

Bureau of Elections announces "most comprehensive" election audit in state history

A collection of "I Voted" stickers
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The Michigan Bureau of Elections announced Wednesday it will conduct the most comprehensive election audit in state history.

The announcement comes after numerous unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and a protracted effort from both state and national Republicans to cast doubt on the integrity of Michigan’s election process.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says the audit was planned well before the election.

“So recognizing that we are in this unique moment, we’re amplifying the work so that people understand we’re doing these audits and understand what they mean so as they hear misinformation they’re fully informed and armed with the information about what we actually are doing to affirm the accuracy of our elections,” says Benson.

Benson says she wants to elevate the process to help tamp down conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.

“Citizens and lawmakers are using false allegations and misinformation to sow seeds of doubt amongst our electorate about the truth of this election, which is that it is one of the most secure, accessible, and accurate in our state’s history,” Benson says.

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield said he wanted to give the Oversight Committee subpoena power to look into “unusually high” allegations of election fraud.

Benson says she hopes the audit helps people understand that Michigan’s elections are accurate and secure.

“We certainly hope that at some point, other political leaders in the state, like the Speaker, will recognize the truth and the importance of all elected officials right now allowing facts and data to rule the day instead of partisan agendas,” she says.

Benson says the state will also be looking at every single paper ballot in Antrim County where clerk user-error led to an incorrect unofficial election count, that was later corrected.

She says the state is also looking to intervene in a lawsuit in Antrim County alleging voter fraud.