by Scott McClallen
Hundreds of people concerned about the integrity of the Nov. 2020 election gathered outside the Michigan Capitol Thursday to protest and deliver roughly 7,000 affidavits claiming fraud and demanding a forensic audit.
Michigan Conservation Coalition spokesperson Matt Seely said thousands of Michigan voters have questioned the integrity of the 2020 election.
“If we do a deep-dive forensic audit similar to Arizona, it will do either one of two things. It will prove that all of the politicians who say there’s nothing to see there, that they were right. Or it will prove that there’s a big problem with the integrity of our elections and that we need to address it in a major way,” he told The Center Square in a phone interview.
Seely said election integrity isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. He cited one poll saying 70% of Republicans don’t believe the 2020 election was free or fair.
Another survey says between 20-30% of Democrats said it was “very likely” that Democrats “stole votes or destroyed pro-Trump ballots in several states to ensure that Biden would win.”
“If the politicians who are trying to stop this from taking place truly believe there’s nothing to see there, then what would be the harm in just proving to the electorate that the concerns are unwarranted?” Seely asked.
Seely said five governors in swing states changed election rules and procedures that ended up determining the election.
“Why did 45 other governors dealing with states of emergency and COVID, didn’t feel it was necessary to change election rules and procedures and violate the U.S Constitution?” he asked. “We owe voters the truth.”
Those gathered say Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s audit only recounted votes and didn’t go far enough to inspect votes and ensure those voting were on the Qualified Voter Roll (QVR).
Former state Sen. Patrick Colbeck said it only took 150 affidavits to get the attention of Arizona legislators.
Colbeck called for a new hearing, alleging election machines were hackable. He claims Antrim County now can’t find 1,061 voters in the QVR.
Colbeck said he’s aiming for legislators to complete a forensic audit. If such an audit shows evidence of fraud it would significantly affect the election. He says lawmakers could demand an audit.
However, 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer in May threw out a lawsuits seeking a recount in Antrim County.
“A petitioner … does not get to choose his own audit criteria,” Elsenheimer said. “Rather the Legislature has given that authority … to the secretary of state.”
Benson pushed back against the election fraud claims saying, “Enough is enough.”
“Those sincerely wanting credible audits of our elections should be reminded that here in Michigan election officials – including 1,300 Republican, Democrat and non-partisan local clerks – have conducted more than 250 actual, by the book, transparent audits of the November 2020 election – and each confirmed that it was safe and secure, and the results are an accurate reflection of the will of the people,” Benson said in a statement.
“We only need look to Arizona to see that anyone who claims they want access to our secure election materials and machines under the guise of performing a fake audit is hiding the fact that they are actually trying to find ways to deceive the public about the integrity of our elections to further their own partisan agenda and have taxpayers foot the bill,” Benson added.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.