Election Audit Shows Lack of Accredited Officials, Access to Qualified Voter File

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Nearly 500 local governments in Michigan do not have clerks fully accredited to run an election, according to an audit released Friday by the Office of the Auditor General.

Michigan Election Law mandates that election clerks participate in continued training in order to maintain their accreditation.

The audit found that that 32 counties, 83 cities and 426 townships do not have any fully accredited clerks and that 12 counties, 38 cities and 290 townships have no election officials with full accreditation.

“We recommend that BOE improve its process to promote accreditation to help ensure that local election officials are fully trained and updated on Michigan’s election process,” the report said.

The Bureau of Elections said that it would “further increase its communication” about mandated training requirements.

The audit also showed that the Michigan Bureau of Elections needs to improve the security of its Qualified Voter File and increase timely enforcement of campaign election laws.

Results from the audit showed that 98.9 percent of names in the QVF matched information in the state’s Drivers License File and that 99.9 percent of votes cast were not duplicate votes.

A test of a sample of the .1 percent of votes that were at risk of being duplicated votes showed that they were the result of system processing or clerical errors.

The report raised concerns about who has access to the QVF after it was revealed that former state or local election officials maintained access to the database, even after they changed jobs or no longer needed access. More than 3,000 people had access to QVF, but nearly 1,000 have not accessed the application in more than 60 days, suggesting they are holdovers who no longer need access. It also found that some administrators had access to the system when it was unnecessary.

“We recommend that BOE improve its access controls over QVF Refresh to help prevent and detect inappropriate access and protect elector information from unauthorized use, disclosure, modification, or destruction,” the report said.

The bureau said it has taken steps to correct the problem, including revoking access for those who had not used the system in more than 60 days.

The report added that the BOE was “sufficient, with exceptions” when it came to compliance about campaign finance laws, noting that it had issues with reviewing campaign finance reports in a timely matter.

“BOE agrees and has already instituted additional steps and controls to more closely track compliance for the complaints process to ensure a more timely rate of review in the future, and will do the same with the 10-day review requirement for lobby reports,” the report said.

Read the full report here.

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]
Photo “Voting Sign” by justgrimes. CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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