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County canvassing boards wrap up work

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Canvassing boards in each of Michigan’s 83 counties have wrapped up their work certifying this month’s election results.

It’s their job to look at precinct returns from every polling place in the county, compare them to voter records, and figure out any discrepancies that may arise.

Washtenaw County Clerk Ed Golembiewski said there weren’t any challenges or other issues brought before that county's board during the canvass process.

“There are so many safeguards in place to ensure election integrity here in this state that it would be exceedingly difficult to actually effect some systemic fraud,” Golembiewski said.

Now that county canvassing boards have certified local results, they’ll pass their work along to a statewide board to add up totals from across the state

That Board of State Canvassers meeting is set for Monday.

In 2020, these routine processes gained attention after officials faced pressure to not certify results based on unsubstantiated claims of fraud.

Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck said he saw more activity at meetings this time around. But he also said conversations were productive.

“I’m always encouraged when I see people showing up for meetings like a board of county canvasser meeting because it’s an opportunity for them to get their questions answered and also to see and observe a process that they may not have had an opportunity or thought of before,” Roebuck said.

He said it can be helpful to highlight the post-election audit process when people begin questioning the accuracy of results.

Both he and Golembiewski referenced the dozens of steps those include.

“That audit process involves a very careful and thorough review of all of the work that was conducted prior to election day, on election day and then thereafter as well,” Golembiewski said.

He mentioned that includes looking at ballot containers and vote totals, and hand counting certain ballots.

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Colin Jackson is the Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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