Benson: Statewide election audit reaffirms results of presidential election

AP: New election systems use vulnerable software
Posted at 12:41 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 12:41:48-05

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s statewide election audit process has confirmed the results of November presidential election and that vote-counting machines were accurate, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Friday.

“This statewide audit process affirms what election officials on both sides of the aisle have said since November – that Michigan’s election was conducted securely and fairly, and the results accurately reflect the will of the voters,” Benson said. “I congratulate our election clerks for carrying out the most successful election in our state’s history, and thank them for affirming the integrity of our elections by participating in this process.”

Hundreds of Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan municipal and county clerks from more than 1,300 local jurisdictions – more than had ever participated in such an audit anywhere – took part in Michigan’s statewide auditing exercise, according to the secretary of state’s office.

RELATED: WATCH: Statewide risk-eliminating election audit begins Monday

They hand counted more than 18,000 ballots that were randomly selected throughout the state.

In the hand count, President Biden received more votes than former President Trump, and the percentage of votes for each candidate was within fractions of a percentage point of machine-tabulated totals.

In the state’s three largest counties, each of which uses a different voting machine vendor, the audit results were also all within one percentage point of the November results.

In a statewide sample, Biden received votes on 50% of all ballots reviewed while Trump received 48%.

In Wayne County, which uses Dominion machines, Biden received 68% while Trump received 31%.

In Oakland County, which uses Hart machines, Biden received 57% while Trump received 41%.

Finally, in Macomb County, which uses ES&S machines, Biden received 44% and Trump 54%.

The audit exercise was conducted by generating a statewide manifest that included the number of ballots cast in every jurisdiction, and then using a randomly generated (by rolling 10-sided dice) 20-digit number to select 18,162 of them. Clerks then retrieved ballots that had been selected in their jurisdictions and shared if it had a vote for president and, if so, who it was for. Clerks retrieved a total of 18,084 ballots total. Twenty-one clerks did not retrieve 78 ballots in their jurisdictions, meaning the sample was 78 ballots short of a complete sample. For this reason, the audit is being considered a pilot exercise.

RELATED: Benson: Bureau of Elections planning 'most comprehensive post-election audits in state history'