BELLAIRE — Many states have shot back at claims of voter fraud and election manipulation by Republican officials — and Michigan offers a strong front of its own.
Amid an early-on error in Antrim County’s unofficial election tallies, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson offered a debunking of such accusations in the wake of a dangerously charged election.
Benson added that such a mistake, even if not quickly caught by Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, would be resolved by Board of Canvassers review.
The Antrim matter was still being resolved Friday, but Guy said earlier in the day that her team was working nonstop to clarify final results under board of canvassers supervision.
She said final precincts were being reviewed late Friday afternoon, and alongside canvassers, state-level officials and the election equipment’s vendor have been guiding next steps.
“It’s very seldom we re-tabulate a whole precinct,” said Guy, who offered regrets of the error and ensured the next release would be accurate and official.
She said canvassers agreed to stay until the job was done.
In an evening release, Benson assured voters that the election was “conducted fairly, effectively and transparently,” calling it an “accurate reflection of the will of Michigan voters.” Any state errors discovered in unofficial results would’ve been fixed through Board of Canvassers reviews, according to the release, and checks in balances are in place with that exact purpose in mind.
Benson also offered clarification that the Antrim County error was the result of an error by the county clerk’s office, headed by Guy.
The release shines light on ongoing issues in Detroit as well, which have since spurred slews of challengers.
Within the city, a chunk of mail-in ballots some have accused of being backdated — incorrectly, Benson states — were the result of another employee mix-up. While each mail-in ballot is stamped and recording at time of receipt, a precinct employee failed to correctly save those dates.
“Election clerks work extremely hard and do their work with integrity. They are human beings, and sometimes make mistakes,” the release reads.
Guy previously said she suspected a computer error between tabulation and reporting software. She and fellow clerks have been working double- and triple-shifts to get correct results out as efficiently as possible.
Benson’s response comes after a an accusation of voter “irregularities” from Republican National Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and claims from fellow Republicans — including President Donald Trump — of voter fraud, illegitimate mail-in ballots and Democrat meddling in results. A New York Times report, alongside an Associated Press Fact Check and several other reports, have investigated those claims and reported them as baseless.
See the full release, which offers a point-by-point explanation of the Antrim County error, here.
See further election coverage and updates at www.record-eagle.com.