Michigan Republican senators request election audit from secretary of state

Michigan GOP senators Lana Theis and Tom Barrett are requesting an election audit citing anomalies like the documented Antrim County ballot processing problem and numerous allegations of state election discrepancies.

In a letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Thursday, the two are "urging" her for an official audit before the State Board of Canvassers certify the 2020 General Election results

“Every citizen deserves to have faith in the integrity of the election process and its outcome,” Thies and Barrett wrote. “It is our responsibility, as elected public servants, to assure the people of Michigan of the process’s integrity through complete transparency and the faithful investigation of any allegations of wrongdoing, fraud, or abuse.”

In Antrim County a glitch caused thousands of ballots to be wrongly counted for the opposing candidate. Antrim is one of 47 counties in the state to use Dominion Voting Systems to process ballots. Dominion has been a flashpoint for controversy with questions being raised around the country about security issues or even a software problem.

Adding to the firestorm has been Rudy Giuliani who claims to have whistleblowers that promise thus far unsubstantiated proof about the system's problems.

Also mentioned in the letter are allegations that election officials:

  • Counted ineligible ballots and counted the same batches of ballots multiple times
  • Instructed poll workers to backdate absentee ballots and counted late ballots after pre-dating them
  • Used false information to process ballots 
  • Accepted ballots deposited into drop boxes after the deadline
  • Duplicated ballots illegally
  • Ordered election workers not to verify voter signatures on absentee ballots
  • Barred poll challengers from observing and coached voters for a particular candidate and party.

The letter also claims large bundles of ballots turned up in the wee hours of the morning at TCF Center from out-of-state vehicles.

Although at least one instance has been disproven of a white van that was actually a TV station transporting a large battery in a red wagon. That video went viral on various conservative websites in the days after the election.

The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits regarding the election, which Attorney General Dana Nessel has said are frivolous and even in some cases are meant to suppress the Black vote.

Benson last week addressed in detail, the questions regarding the accuracy of the election results.

"Michigan’s elections were conducted fairly, effectively, and transparently and are an accurate reflection of the will of Michigan voters," Benson said last week. "As Detroit officials have stated, hundreds of challengers from both parties were inside their absent voter counting board all afternoon and evening. And even after some left, there were always challengers from both parties in the room. Dozens of reporters were in the room as well. "

When it comes to backdating, Benson said in a statement last week:

"No ballots were backdated," she said in a statement. "A clerical error was made when some ballot envelopes were received in Detroit satellite offices. Although employees stamped a date of receipt on the envelopes, an employee failed to complete the transaction for receiving the ballot by saving that date in the Qualified Voter File. Therefore, at the absent voter counting board, after discussion with Republican challengers who chose not to challenge the process, the staff was instructed to enter that date stamped on the envelope ensuring that no voters were disenfranchised by the clerical error."

On the Antrim County Dominion issues, she said:

The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of an accidental error on the part of the Antrim County Clerk. The equipment and software did not malfunction and all ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.

"Like many counties in Michigan, Antrim County uses the Dominion Voting Systems election management system and voting machines (ballot tabulators.) The county receives programming support from Election Source. Tabulators are programmed to scan hand-marked, paper ballots. When machines are finished scanning the ballots, the paper ballots are retained and a totals tape showing the number of votes for each candidate in each race is printed from the machine.

"In order to report unofficial results, county clerks use election management system software to combine the electronic totals from tabulators and submit a report of unofficial results. Because the clerk did not update software, even though the tabulators counted all the ballots correctly, those accurate results were not combined properly when the clerk reported unofficial results."

To read the full letter submitted to Benson see below: