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Audit quashes conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud in Michigan
Former state Sen. Patrick Colbeck’s “2020 coup” board showing alleged Democratic voting fraud, showcased at a right-wing rally at the state Capitol, Feb. 8, 2022 | Laina G. Stebbins
The Michigan Office of the Auditor General debunked conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud, concluding in a report released Friday that local and state officials conducted accurate audits of the election that found little to no irregularities.
The office found no evidence of fraud and said the post-election audits were sufficient, with some exceptions, contradicting repeated claims by former President Donald Trump and his loyalists who have insisted Joe Biden stole the election.
Biden defeated Trump in Michigan by more than 154,000 votes.
“By confirming the effectiveness of the most comprehensive post-election audit in state history, the Auditor General affirmed what has been demonstrated time and time again – Michigan’s 2020 election was secure and the outcome accurately reflects the will of the voters,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement Friday. “The auditors recognized the tremendous work the Michigan Bureau of Elections and local election officials did to carry out more than 250 successful post-election audits by rating the bureau’s performance perhaps better than ever.”
One of the most pervasive conspiracy theories was that numerous votes were cast on behalf of dead people. By comparing voting records with public health records, the office found that 1,616 votes, or 0.03% of the total ballots, were cast by people who were dead as of Election Day. But in most of the cases, the people voted absentee before they died.
In all but 20 instances, the voter died more than 40 days before the election.
The report also found that 99.99% of the votes were not duplicates and 99.99% were within acceptable age parameters.
“The performance of Michigan’s clerks in the 2020 election and the months that followed was outstanding, especially when we take into consideration the national, coordinated and shameful effort to overturn the legitimate outcome of the election and undermine the clerks themselves,” Benson said. “The reality is that Michigan’s county, city and township clerks successfully shouldered significant responsibilities, endured unprecedented scrutiny and ensured the security and professional execution of the 2020 election and post-election audits.”
The Office of Auditor General found minor problems, saying the Bureau of Elections did not “ensure county clerks completed and timely submitted all assigned post-election audits.”
The office recommended that the bureau “improve its oversight and reporting of the post-election audits assigned to county clerks.”
Despite overwhelming evidence that the election results were accurate and without widespread fraud, some Republicans have peddled conspiracy theories to justify imposing restrictions on voters. Republican lawmakers introduced dozens of bills that would make it more difficult to vote in Michigan and are pursuing ballot measures.
This story first ran in the Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to their newsletters, and follow them on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.
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