SOS Benson says Mich. election certification is what voters, poll workers and clerks deserve

After an hours' long meeting, the State Board of Canvassers voted Monday to certify Michigan's election results making it official that Joe Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes. 

And now Michigan's Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is hoping this certification will help voters regain faith in the election process.

"It is really what has warmed my heart, to be honest, but also at the same time all we saw is a reflection of the system working," Benson said.

A week and a half later, Benson says voters, poll workers and clerks got what they deserved - a validation of their work in what she says was a secure, fair and transparent election.

But the certification didn't come without adversity.

It came after several attacks by President Donald Trump, the GOP and as of late as Monday afternoon, Republican member of the state board of canvassers Norman Shinkle, who chose not to vote citing election issues in Detroit and across the state.

"There needs to be a thorough and full review of Michigan's election process and procedures so that this never happens again, and so that we don't have a nation wondering and watching what happened in Michigan," Shinkle said during Monday's meeting. 

In the end, the board voted 3-0 with Shinkle abstaining to certify the election, allowing president-elect Joe Biden's transition to begin.

"No question, Michigan has played a historical role in this national election and the voters and the clerks are going to be commended for the work that they did to ensure that under some significant scrutiny the process worked. It was smooth, it was successful; we saw record-breaking turnout in the midst of a pandemic," Benson said. 

But secretary Benson says their work is not over. 

Although officials say no fraud has been found and all lawsuits brought by the Trump administration have been thrown out or withdrawn, Benson says the state will now conduct an audit on the election process expecting to affirm the results and identify areas for improvement. 

Would this audit change any of the election results? 

"The audit really, ultimately, will simply affirm the accuracy of the vote and affirm by checking back again that everything was conducted and is trustworthy conducted smoothly. But audits, aren't typically conducted to change outcomes, especially in areas where there are margins as significant as these are in many of the statewide elections," she said. 

But Benson did say it could make a difference in local races where the margins were much smaller.