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Michigan recount, voter fraud bills likely become law

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(The Center Square) – Legislation that will modify election recounts and fraud allegations in Michigan awaits Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature, overriding some lawmakers’ concerns about election security.

Senate Bills 603 and 604 will change the requirements for asking for and conducting ballot recounts, The Center Square previously reported.

Among other changes, the law will eliminate the board of canvasser’s investigative powers, instead requiring the board to refer any allegations of fraud to the relevant county prosecutor, rather than conducting a recount. Only alleged errors could merit a recount, and only when the alleged errors could potentially change election results. It will also increase the deposit for filing a recount petition and modify various guidelines for clerks.

Supporters say the legislation will help avoid costly and spurious recounts, citing Green Party presidential election nominee Jill Stein’s attempts in 2016 to issue a recount in Michigan, when she claimed “error of fraud” had occurred, despite receiving only 1% of the vote.

Opponents say eliminating the canvassers’ investigatory powers and scrapping protections against election worker interference will make fraud much harder to address and compromise election security.

“I understand the importance of preventing frivolous recounts, but we must also acknowledge the rights of candidates and voters to ensure they have confidence in the results,” said Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton Township, who voted against the bill. “These bills do not strike the right balance.”

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