New: GOP Legislature to hold rare Saturday elections oversight hearing 

By: - November 6, 2020 3:56 pm

Vote processing in Detroit’s TCF Center | Ken Coleman photo

The Republican-led House and Senate Oversight committees will hold a rare Saturday hearing to make sure “every legal vote is properly counted,” Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth) said in a Facebook post, as the Advance first reported

This meeting comes after President Donald Trump has called for all vote counting to stop in many states needed to win the election, including Michigan.

But Michigan’s count has already concluded. And the Associated Press and other media outlets have called Michigan for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who currently leads by 146,120 votes in unofficial returns. 

The hearing is slated for 11 a.m. at the Senate Hearing Room in Boji Tower.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) tweeted the meeting will “begin an inquiry into the election and counting procedures in our state for this election and future ones.” Chatfield also said he wanted to ensure every “legal vote” is counted, echoing rhetoric from Trump’s campaign.

“This isn’t to change results. America needs certainty and unity. This will help,” Chatfield added.

Horn said there is not a “predetermined agenda” for the meeting. 

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) said in a statement Friday that “Republicans are choosing to side with conspiracy theorists and abuse the power of the Legislature in [an] attempt to soothe their bruised egos.”

Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) also criticized the committee meeting, saying that local clerks had already asked the Legislature for more support to make sure the election runs smoothly, and the request was shot down. 

“Apparently the Speaker forgot that the clerks literally asked for more time to process AVs weeks ago. If he wanted to address the process that was the time to do it,” Geiss tweeted.

Pro-Trump protesters on Friday again gathered outside the TCF Center in Detroit where ballots are being counted, chanting “stop the count” and “Detroit cheats.”

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has said that every valid ballot will be counted, and Trump’s claims of a fraudulent counting process in Michigan are “meritless.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.