Secretary of State: Post-election 'performance audit' planned in Wayne County

Posted 10 days ago


LANSING — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Thursday her agency will conduct a post-election performance audit in Wayne County, which she said is standard procedure in local jurisdictions with significant clerical errors in their reporting.

Performance audits in Wayne County and some other local jurisdictions will be in addition to a previously planned "statewide risk-limiting audit of November’s general election," Benson said in a news release.

Risk-limiting audits provide a further check on election results by inspecting a certain percentage of paper ballots.

Benson's announcement about  post-election audits was made as two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers said Wednesday they want to rescind their certification of the county's election results because they believe the state does not intend to carry out a comprehensive and independent audit of county precincts that had reporting issues, as they say they were promised before voting to certify.

There is no legal mechanism for canvassing board members to rescind their votes, Bureau of Elections spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer said.

The audit issue arises as the Board of State Canvassers prepares to meet Monday to certify statewide election results and as Republican President Donald Trump attempts in Michigan and other key states to overturn election results showing Democrat Joe Biden elected president. Trump reportedly reached out to both Michigan GOP members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers following Tuesday's contentious meeting.

In Detroit and Wayne County, significant numbers of precincts or absent voter counting boards had small discrepancies between the number of votes recorded as cast and the number of ballots actually counted. Former state elections director Chris Thomas said such poll book imbalances occur throughout the state and are not a serious issue, generally caused by issues such as absentee ballot envelope arriving without a ballot inside it and not being properly recorded as such.

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