Advance Notice: Briefs

GOP activists call for ‘forensic audit’ of Michigan 2020 presidential election

By: - June 21, 2021 12:25 pm

A Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump supporters yelling at a Trump Rally outside the Michigan State Capitol Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 | Anna Liz Nichols

Michigan activists who believe the myth that former President Donald Trump did not lose to President Joe Biden in November 2020 delivered about 7,000 signed affidavits to Republican leaders last week demanding a “forensic audit” of the election results. 

Biden won Michigan by more than 154,000 votes.

“A forensic audit is not a thing,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted Thursday while a group of conservatives, led by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and Stand Up Michigan, attempted to deliver boxes of signed affidavits to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and rallied outside the Capitol.

Shirkey did not meet with the activists — which included GOP former state Sen. Pat Colbeck and Michigan GOP Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock, who co-founded the MCC with her spouse, Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Walled Lake) — but had a dropoff location set up for the affidavits to be delivered.

Michigan Republican Party Grassroots Vice Chair Marian Sheridan led the affidavit collection drive, per MLive, with county-level GOP groups across the state lending support.

Election audits are the latest push by Trump supporters to delegitimize the results of the Nov. 3 general election in battleground states. In Arizona, the GOP-led Senate called for an audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election ballots. 

Even though state and local officials have already audited the November 2020 election and found it to be accurate and secure, the Michigan Republican Party and their minions are focused on promoting a failed presidential candidate rather than doing the work that needs to be done to improve the lives of the people of Michigan,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan.

In Michigan, more than 250 election audits were completed by Benson and local election clerks by March, which found no evidence of fraud or concern about the integrity of the state’s election. 

Currently, no Republican legislative leaders have endorsed an Arizona-style audit, but Democrats are waiting for leaders across the aisle to shut down the rumors of election fraud once and for all.

“From party leadership to rank and file Republicans, the MIGOP has spent the better half of last year and most of this one pursuing an agenda that emboldens extremist militias as they marched into the statehouse, props up the Big Lie, and supports the violent January 6th insurrection,” said Rodericka Applewhaite, Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson. “It’s no wonder conspiracy theories ranging from 2020 to vaccines have become the foundation of the MIGOP.”

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered 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.