Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Smit: Democrats’ attempt to alter state’s recount procedures will weaken election laws
RELEASE|June 13, 2024
Contact: Rachelle Smit

State Rep. Rachelle Smit (R-Martin) today delivered a floor speech urging her colleagues not to support Democrat legislation that would strip away verification and validity measures that were specifically enacted to prevent fraud.

Senate Bills 603-04 amend Michigan Election Law by making several misguided changes to the state’s recount process. Under current law, vote recounts may be done based on allegations of fraud or mistake, but the legislation voted on today not only removes fraud as a reason for a recount, but also states that recount petitions may only allege an error and requires petitions to be based on the notion that the election results would have been different without that error.

Smit, who serves as Republican vice chair of the House Elections Committee and was a former local elections clerk, said it’s a mistake to tamper with current laws that establish clear checks and balances that give the people of Michigan faith in the trustworthiness of poll workers, clerks and election results.

“It’s not a crime – or at least it shouldn’t be – to practice skepticism,” Smit said during her speech. “This bill will eliminate what little trust citizens have left in our election systems, and for that reason I urge my colleagues to vote no on this package.”

Smit said watering down protections is counterproductive when several clear inadequacies have existed within the state’s elections process that could pave the way for fraud. This includes having no system to tell if someone votes in multiple states, with the Secretary of State failing to remove 170,000 names of people who no longer lived in the state from the voter rolls only after she was sued.

Despite Smit and other Republicans’ objections, Senate Bill 603 was approved and moves to the Senate for concurrence.

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