Michigan’s board of elections orders all county clerks to delete voter data from computers

Michigan Republican legislative leaders were taken aback after learning that the state’s Board of Elections ordered all county clerks to delete all election-related data from computers.

The board, which is controlled by Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, sent out a memo on Dec. 1 to county election officials regarding recounts and “the release of voting equipment.”

“The EPB software and associated files must be deleted from all devices by the seventh calendar day following the final canvass and certification of the election (November 30, 2020) unless a petition for recount has been filed and the recount has not been completed, a post-election audit is planned but has not yet been completed, or the deletion of the data has been stayed by an order of the court or the Secretary of State,” the memo read, as reported by Breitbart News.

The memo rankled state Rep. Matt Hall and state Sen. Ed McBroom, both Republicans and both chairmen of legislative oversight committees. Both said the board’s memo violated an order issued by GOP House Speaker Lee Chatfield and GOP Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey that all election data be preserved.

On Nov. 6, Chatfield and Shirkey — both of whom traveled to Washington, D.C., last month to meet with President Donald Trump — issued a directive “which served as notice of the Michigan Legislature’s plans to conduct an inquiry into the general election,” said a release from Hall, cited by Breitbart.

“Because of that inquiry, Detroit city clerk and BOE offices were directed to preserve certain materials, including relevant electronic information. The inquiry also demands all surveillance video recordings that were taken at the TCF Center in Detroit from Nov. 3-5 be kept,” the release continued.

Hall noted, “Our work is about restoring confidence in our elections process. We are making sure that we have access to relevant and needed information as the Legislature performs its inquiry into what happened and that the information hasn’t been deleted in the face of that inquiry and litigation that is still out there.”

“It is concerning this memo went out after a letter was delivered asking these entities to preserve evidence. As a result, we want an assurance that this information is being preserved,” Hall added.

Both chairmen said they now want “immediate clarity” that election data is being preserved as was directed earlier by the leaders of both legislative chambers.

Their respective committees held lengthy hearings last week featuring several witnesses including election observers and poll workers, many of whom claimed that state laws along with election rules and procedures were regularly flouted during the ballot-counting process at the TCF Center in Detroit.

On Sunday, the president’s legal team moved to forensically examine and take images of 22 vote-tabulating machines in Antrim County after a state judge signed off on the request Friday, the Detroit Free Press reported.

In a subsequent interview with Fox News’ Fox & Friends morning show, Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis said, “A judge actually granted our team access … for us to conduct a forensic audit.”

The Detroit paper reported that Antrim County is solidly Republican but on Nov. 3, unofficial results initially showed Biden beating President Trump.

County election officials said some 6,000 votes were inappropriately given to Biden, claiming that the GOP clerk made a programming error — not the Dominion Voting System software that has been alleged by Team Trump and others to be capable of switching votes.

“That was an unexplained and so-called glitch,” Ellis said. “So our team is going to be able to go in there this morning and we’ll be there for about eight hours to conduct that forensic examination and we’ll have the results in about 48 hours and that will tell us a lot about these machines.”


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Jon Dougherty


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