State Rep. Steve Carra today announced a proposal to create a bipartisan audit board to review the 2020 election and identify corrective action to improve Michigan’s election processes.
“A thorough, bipartisan review will help us identify what works, what doesn’t, and how to make our elections secure and accessible for every Michigan voter,” said Carra, of Three Rivers. “I know my colleagues on both sides of the aisle care about secure elections that the voters can trust; my plan will help ensure Michigan elections are fair, honest and accurate.”
Under Carra’s House Bill 5091, a bipartisan audit board would be tasked with contracting an impartial, nonpartisan corporation to conduct a forensic audit of the 2020 general election. The board would consist of seven members: the state auditor general or the auditor general’s designee, one each appointed by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, and one election challenger for the 2020 general election from each of the two major political parties.
To analyze current processes to maintain accurate, up-to-date voter rolls, the third-party auditor would review additions, revisions and deletions to the Qualified Voter File. The audit board would also randomly select 20% of precincts from each city with at least 500,000 residents and 10% of precincts from each county for a thorough audit of poll books, ballots and vote tallies from the 2020 general election.
The audit of poll books would analyze when each poll book was generated, whether any electronic poll book was connected to a network after being downloaded, any changes made to a poll book and any recorded challenge from an election challenger, among others. The audit of ballots would log the total number of ballots printed, the number of absentee ballots returned by mail, the time a clerk received each absentee ballot returned on election day and when local clerks delivered absentee ballots for signature verification and tabulation, among others. The audit of vote tallies would review the electronic voting systems used to tabulate ballots in each precinct and include a detailed log of each vote tally transfer.
Additionally, the audit would review the procedures followed when the secretary of state mailed out unsolicited absentee ballot applications in 2020.
Carra’s plan would maintain transparency during the audit by requiring camera recording of the entire audit process.
The audit would be required to begin no later than 45 days after the bill takes effect, and the corporation would have 90 days to complete the audit. The bipartisan audit board would then have two weeks to complete and submit a final report.
“Transparency is an important responsibility of the Michigan Legislature,” Carra said. “As the people’s elected representatives responsible for setting election laws for our state, we have a duty to ensure that our elections are conducted properly, and a forensic audit will help us move forward together.”
HB 5091 is expected to be formally read in this afternoon.