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On the issues: Election reform

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Here's where the five Republican gubernatorial candidates stand on questions about election reform, including whether they believe the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Tudor Dixon

Tudor Dixon has not given a firm answer on whether she believes the outcome of the 2020 election was legitimate. She said she has reason to doubt, but would need to look closely at what took place once in office. She wants to reform Michigan's voting laws. She said she will reform mail-in ballots, eliminate ballot drop boxes, ban ballot harvesting, and create tough penalties for voter fraud.

Ryan Kelley

Ryan Kelley firmly believes the 2020 election was fraudulent at the presidential level and was at the Capitol riot in Washington DC on January 6, 2021. If elected, he says he will cancel contracts with several electronic voting machine companies. Kelley wants to tackle the issues he believes allow for too much voter fraud. He wants to eliminate ballot drop boxes, automatic absentee/mail-in ballots, and same-day voter registration. He also wants an audit of voter rolls to remove those who have died, moved, or become ineligible to vote.

Ralph Rebandt

Ralph Rebandt said he wants to begin an investigation of 2020 election fraud "on day one.” He was an unofficial 2020 poll watcher at TCF during the counting of votes in Detroit, and believes the election was “stolen.”

To stop any future voter fraud, Rebandt wants to implement voter ID laws, limit absentee ballots, create mandatory election watchers, and ban private funding “of election officials.” He wants to ban same-day voter registration and wants to improve the “accuracy of voter lists.”

Rebandt also wants to make Michigan an “open records” state to restore confidence in government, which he thinks will also make voters more trusting in future elections.

Kevin Rinke

Kevin Rinke does not believe Michigan’s 2020 election was fraudulent.

He still sees room to improve election security and wants to reduce the possibility of future voter fraud. He said he wants to audit the voting rolls to verify that voters are alive, registered and identified before casting a ballot. He wants voter ID laws put in place before the 2024 election.

Rinke ran a campaign ad stating that “dead people always vote Democrat,” which follows disproven 2020 conspiracy theories of voter fraud. He said it was a joke, meant to be satirical.

Garrett Soldano

Garrett Soldano firmly believes the 2020 presidential election was “stolen,” citing frequently referenced but disproven conspiracy theories.

If elected, Soldano wants to expand voter ID laws, secure every precinct, check that every vote is legal and crack down hard on any voter fraud.

He also wants to conduct a "forensic audit" of the 2020 election to see “what really happened.”

Katheryne Friske is an intern in the Newsroom. She has a background in vocal music and education.
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