Michigan House Republicans
Rep. DeBoyer: Misguided plan seeks to warp Michigan’s recount process, election laws
RELEASE|May 15, 2024
Contact: Jay DeBoyer

State Rep. Jay DeBoyer criticized legislation that received testimony on Tuesday before the House Elections Committee, saying the proposal strips away verification and validity measures put in place to specifically prevent fraud.

Senate Bills 603-04 amend Michigan Election Law by making several changes to the recount process in the state. Under current law, recounts of votes can be done based on the allegation of fraud or a mistake. The legislation not only removes fraud as a reason for a recount, but goes farther in stating that recount petitions may only allege an error and requires that petitions be based on the idea that there would have been a different outcome in the election without that error.

“We have time-honored laws in this state that allow bipartisan county boards of canvassers the ability to investigate fraud, wrongdoing or a violation of the law in our elections,” said DeBoyer, who serves on the House Elections Committee and was the former clerk for St. Clair County. “Despite some misguided interpretations, these laws we have are clear and provide critical checks and balances to ensure our poll workers and clerks are not acting in a nefarious fashion, that our results are accurate, and that our system is working as intended. These bills delete multiple references to fraud and even strike out references to ballot tampering. They ultimately work to discourage the notion that fraud could be a reason for a discrepancy. That is an extremely reactive policy that discards transparency and doesn’t deliver a better elections system.”

DeBoyer said changing the law to water down protections is counterproductive when several clear inadequacies have existed within the state’s elections process that could pave the way for fraud. This includes having no system to tell if someone votes in multiple states, with the Secretary of State failing to remove 170,000 names of people who no longer lived in the state from the voter rolls only after she was sued.

DeBoyer also said elements of the bills are unnecessary while seeking to be corrective. Current law already allows for human error discrepancies to be explained to a board of canvassers, who have the discretion to determine if a precinct can be recounted. These particulars of current law were confirmed to DeBoyer during the committee hearing by officials from the Secretary of State after testimony to the contrary.

The bills remain under consideration in the House Elections Committee.

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