Legislator: Circulated Bureau of Elections memo raises process concerns
House Oversight Chair Matt Hall, of Marshall and Senate Oversight Chair Ed McBroom, of Vulcan, have sent letters to Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey and state Elections Director Jonathan Brater to ensure needed transparency surrounding the state’s most recent election.
Hall and McBroom are seeking answers regarding a Michigan Bureau of Elections memo dated Dec. 1 and distributed to county clerks. The memo proclaimed that software and associated files were to be deleted from all devices seven days following the final canvass and certification of Michigan’s November election.
The memo was distributed to the clerks despite a Nov. 6 letter sent by House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey which served as notice of the Michigan Legislature’s plans to conduct an inquiry into the general election. 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.
“Our work is about restoring confidence in our elections process,” Hall said. “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 and McBroom requested immediate clarity on whether the offices are maintaining information referenced in the previous letter from legislative leaders and rectification plans if certain information has not been maintained.
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