Michigan Democrats Have A Long Documented History Of Questioning The Results Of Elections They Disagree With The Outcome Of
Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist:
In May 2017, Gilchrist wrote an op-ed in the Michigan Chronicle questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election.
Gilchrist claimed there were “vote tally discrepancies” during the canvassing.
Gilchrist questioned the voting machines and called for new machines and better training for election-day volunteers.
Gilchrist called for “rebuilding trust in the integrity of election in Detroit.”
Gilchrist argued “we cannot allow out voices to go unheard or discounted for another election.”
In November 2017, Gilchrist challenged the legitimacy of his electoral loss to Janice Winfrey in the Detroit city clerk election.
Gilchrist refused to concede defeat to Janice Winfrey despite trailing by nearly 1,500 votes.
Gilchrist demanded a recount after questioning the counting of absentee ballots and said “there are questions about yesterday’s election that give us concern about the vote tallies.”
Gilchrist alleged that voters received absentee ballots they did not request.
Detroit Free Press: “Gilchrist also questioned the fluctuation and late surge in votes Winfrey received late in the night after he had a clear lead early for much of the night.”
After the Board of Canvassers certified the results Gilchrist responded that there was “chaos and confusion” in the absentee ballots.
Gilchrist: “I think it’s important that voters know what happens to their ballot after they get cast and they know that they will be counted properly.”
Gilchrist: “There continues to be issues and reasons why people in Detroit do no (sic) trust the voting process.”
After the recount, Gilchrist said the “voters of Detroit will not be able to get real verification” about the winner of the election.
In December 2017, Gilchrist claimed that “those voters of Detroit will not be able to get real verification” about the election.
Gilchrist’s campaign manager called the recount “backwards.”
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson:
Benson questioned the legitimacy of the 2000 presidential elections claiming a bureaucrat stole the election for George W. Bush.
In 2010, Benson wrote in the Michigan Chronicle that Florida Secretary of State Kathleen Harris acted illegally by denying a statewide recount and implied that not all legal voted were counted.
Benson coined the term the “Kathleen Harris effect” which according to her meant that Harris “work[ed] behind the scenes to tinker with the electoral process.”
The Arab American News reported Benson said: “The 2000 election, I think, showed that if you don’t have a secretary of state who’s going to abide by the laws and allow a full recount to ensure that all the votes are counted, then everything we fight for is called into question.”
Benson questioned the legitimacy of the 2004 presidential election and floated the theory that the voter machines may have been hacked.
Benson wrote that the Secretary of State of Ohio improperly denied a recount of the state and implied that every legal vote was not counted.
After the 2016 presidential election, Benson pushed for a post-election audit of the 2016 election claiming that the voting machines may have been hacked.
Benson: In the 2016 election, we saw real threats to the security of our democracy … we know that there were efforts to hack and interfere our democracy, to nationally impact our machines, to take data from our voters and use it possibly for nefarious means.”
As Secretary of State, Benson formed the Michigan Election Security Commission In March 2019 and hired a University of Michigan Professor who claimed that voting machines are easily hackable to co-chair the commission.
Before even taking office after being elected to Michigan Secretary of State in 2018, Benson called for a public debate on abolishing the electoral college in its current form.
Benson: “I think there are many ways to reform the system with an eye towards creating or encouraging an informed and engaged election and restoring voter confidence in the system.
However, Benson frequently claims that protesting the results of the 2020 election is “protesting democracy
Governor Gretchen Whitmer
In 2012, Whitmer used her role as presider in the counting of the presidential electors to invoke “personal privilege” to attack her political opponents.
During the session where the electoral voted were being read and certified, Whitmer pushed a political resolution attacking Republicans over right to work laws.
In 2020, Whitmer, Nessel and Benson together spread the conspiracy theory that the post office was sabotaging the election against Democrats.
Whitmer defended using her position as presider over the electoral college vote counting to push a personal agenda saying “when the electoral college meets, they can pass whatever type of resolution that they want.”
During the electoral college session, Whitmer attacked her political opponent – Republican Rick Snyder as well as criticizing the Michigan State Police, second amendment rights and pro-life policies.
Senator Mallory McMorrow
McMorrow entertained the idea of using the electoral college to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election.
McMorrow pushed the lie that the Russians intervened in the 2016 election
Garlin Gilchrist Questioned The Legitimacy Of The 2016 Election
When Running For Detroit City Clerk, Gilchrist Wrote An Op-Ed In The Michigan Chronicle Alleging “Vote Tally Discrepancies” And Called For “Rebuilding Trust In The Integrity Of Elections In Detroit”
In An Op-Ed In The Michigan Chronicle, Gilchrist Accused The City Of Detroit Of Lying About Voter ID Laws And Blasted The City For Having “Vote Tally Discrepancies.” “Voting in the city of Detroit continues to become a more challenging process each election. Whether you vote in person or by absentee ballot, every election brings longer lines, broken voting machines and confusion over ID requirements, making it more difficult for Detroit voters to exercise their rights in the democratic process. Last fall, the city grabbed national headlines for having vote tally discrepancies, to the point where votes could not be recounted in nearly 60 percent of Detroit’s precincts. In addition, the ACLU of Michigan sent a strongly worded letter to the current Detroit City Clerk, demanding she stop misinforming voters about voter identification requirements. This is unacceptable. It’s no surprise that residents do not trust the integrity of our elections and are staying home on Election Day. The result is that only about 48% of registered voters in Detroit cast ballots in the 2016 general election.” (Garlin Gilchrist, Op-Ed, “The Time Is Now For Rebuilding Detroit’s Election Process,” Michigan Chronicle, 5/17/17) p.11
Gilchrist Called For “New Voting Machines And Better Training For Election-Day Volunteers.” To “Restore Voter Trust.” “New voting machines and better training for election-day volunteers is an important first step, but not enough to restore trust and increase voter turnout.” (Garlin Gilchrist, Op-Ed, “The Time Is Now For Rebuilding Detroit’s Election Process,” Michigan Chronicle, 5/17/17) p.11
Gilchrist Argued For Easy Access To Polling Locations. “Many Detroiters, like my wife and I, do not own a car. We had to travel nearly a mile and a half, then wait an hour and a half to vote. Many voters can’t take that much time off of work or they don’t have a way of getting to the polls. That’s why every idea must be on the table for Detroit’s next city clerk to improve access to voting for Detroiters. We must increase the number of polling locations, so no voter has to travel more than a mile to vote, especially in neighborhoods we know have limited bus service.” (Garlin Gilchrist, Op-Ed, “The Time Is Now For Rebuilding Detroit’s Election Process,” Michigan Chronicle, 5/17/17) p.11
Gilchrist Called For “Rebuilding Trust In The Integrity Of Elections In Detroit … We Cannot Allow Our Voices To Go Unheard Or Discounted For Another Election.” “Rebuilding trust in the integrity of elections in Detroit must happen quickly or we will lose the voices of even more frustrated residents. As we witnessed last fall, we cannot allow our voices to go unheard or discounted for another election. The stakes Are far too high.” (Garlin Gilchrist, Op-Ed, “The Time Is Now For Rebuilding Detroit’s Election Process,” Michigan Chronicle, 5/17/17) p.11
Gilchrist Questioned The Legitimacy Of His Election Loss In 2017
In November 2017, Gilchrist Questioned The Legitimacy Of Janice Winfrey’s Win For Detroit City Clerk Saying He Heard “Troubling Accounts” Regarding Absentee Ballots And He Planned To Investigate. “Garlin Gilchrist said he is considering whether to file a recount after losing to incumbent Clerk Janice Winfrey in a close race in the general election. Gilchrist said during a news conference Wednesday that he’s heard ‘troubling accounts’ from voters and he plans to investigate. ‘There are questions about yesterday’s election that give us concern about the vote tallies,’ Gilchrist said. One example, Gilchrist said, was a voter who said he arrived at his precinct Tuesday to vote, only to be told he already voted absentee, which he hadn’t. Gilchrist said he will decide in the next few days if he wants a recount. ‘I strongly believe that Detroit voters need to know that their votes are counted and that they’re counted accurately,’ he said. Gilchrist said there were reports of absentee voters casting ballots and then receiving multiple ballot receipts from Winfrey’s office. Voters also voiced concerns about receiving letters requesting absentee ballot applications, and then two days later – without submitting the application – a ballot came in the mail, Gilchrist said.” (Nicquel Terry, “Gilchrist Raises Voting Issues, Mulls Recount,” The Detroit News, 11/8/17)
Gilchrist: “There Are Questions About Yesterday’s Election That Give Us Concern About The Vote Tallies.” (Nicquel Terry, “Gilchrist Raises Voting Issues, Mulls Recount,” The Detroit News, 11/8/17)
Gilchrist: “I Strongly Believe That Detroit Voters Need To Know That Their Votes Are Counted And That They’re Counted Accurately.” (Nicquel Terry, “Gilchrist Raises Voting Issues, Mulls Recount,” The Detroit News, 11/8/17)
Detroit Free Press: “Gilchrist Also Questioned The Fluctuation And Late Surge In Votes Winfrey Received Late In The Night After He Had A Clear Lead Early For Much Of The Night.” “Gilchrist also questioned the fluctuation and late surge in votes Winfrey received late in the night after he had a clear lead early for much of the night. ‘It raises the question of how tallies were handled and where the votes were coming from,’’ Gilchrist said. But Baxter said Winfrey’s late surge in votes can be directly attributed to absentee ballots being counted. ‘As the clerk’s numbers began to change, it was a consequence of absentee ballots coming in at that particular time,’ Baxter said.” (Kat Stafford, “Garlin Gilchrist II Considers Recount Request In Detroit Clerk’s Race,” Detroit Free Press, 11/8/17)
Gilchrist Alleged That Voters Received Absentee Ballots That They Did Not Request. “Gilchrist said voters also shared concerns about confusing letters received from the Department of Elections. ‘We also have reports of voters in September receiving letters from the Department of Elections saying that they had not requested an absentee ballot for the November election … but two days later, those same voters began to actually receive absentee ballots that the department told them they did not request,’ Gilchrist said.” (Kat Stafford, “Garlin Gilchrist II Considers Recount Request In Detroit Clerk’s Race,” Detroit Free Press, 11/8/17)
On November 21 – Shortly After The Board Of Canvassers Certified The Election Results Gilchrist Demanded A Recount. “Garlin Gilchrist is requesting a recount of all absentee votes in the general election after a narrow loss to City Clerk Janice Winfrey. Gilchrist said he believes the recount is necessary after hearing stories of ‘chaos and confusion’ from absentee voters during election season. He reiterated on Tuesday reports of voters receiving a second absentee ballot application in the mail, getting ballots they were told they didn’t apply for, and the clerk’s office mailing duplicate absentee ballot receipts to voters. ‘There was enough confusion for us to have concerns about how those ballots were going to be processed and how they were going to be counted before Election Day,’ Gilchrist said. ‘And then results on Election Night just added to those voters’ concerns.’ Gilchrist, 35, said he may also request recounts at precincts where there were problems on Election Day. ‘I think it’s important that voters know what happens to their ballot after they get cast and they know that they will be counted properly,’ Gilchrist said. As for the costs of the recount, Gilchrist said he expects to pay $125 for each precinct. His recount petition will include all 100 absentee voter counting boards in Detroit. Gilchrist said his campaign is prepared to finance the recount. His recount announcement came shortly after the Wayne County Board of Canvassers certified the Nov. 7 election on Tuesday.” (Nicquel Terry, “Gilchrist Will Seek Recount Of Absentee Ballots,” The Detroit News, 11/21/17)
Gilchrist Claimed There Was “Chaos And Confusion” From Absentee Voters. (Nicquel Terry, “Gilchrist Will Seek Recount Of Absentee Ballots,” The Detroit News, 11/21/17)
“There Was Enough Confusion For Us To Have Concerns About How Those Ballots Were Going To Be Processed And How They Were Going To Be Counted Before Election Day … I Think It’s Important That Voters Know What Happens To Their Ballot After They Get Cast And They Know That They Will Be Counted Properly.” (Nicquel Terry, “Gilchrist Will Seek Recount Of Absentee Ballots,” The Detroit News, 11/21/17)
Gilchrist: “It’s Critical That We All Trust Our Election System And Especially As We Go Into The 2018 Election Cycle.” (Allie Gross, “Garlin Gilchrist II Requests Recount In Hotly Contested Detroit Clerk Race,” Detroit Free Press, 11/21/17)
Gilchrist’s Campaign Manager, Al Williams, Called The Recount System “Backwards” After Some Absentee Votes Were Deemed Uncountable. “A recount of the Detroit’s city clerk race got under way Tuesday, with absentee ballots in three precincts deemed ‘unrecountable’ when the number of votes tabulated on election day failed to match the number of ballots in the recount container. ‘By state law, if it doesn’t match up, you can’t recount it,’ said Al Williams, campaign manager for Garlin Gilchrist, the city clerk candidate that called for a recount after losing by roughly 1,400 votes to incumbent Janice Winfrey. ‘It’s backward,’ he continued.” (Allie Gross, “Detroit Clerk’s Race: Absentee Ballots ‘Unrecountable‘ In 3 Precincts,” Detroit Free Press, 12/5/17)
After Reports That Some Ballots Were Found In A Supply Closet, Gilchrist Responded: “There Continues To Be Issues And Reasons Why People In Detroit Do [Not] Trust The Voting Process.” “Some of the recount findings had the city’s elections director on Friday threatening ‘disciplinary action’ against the poll workers who were overseeing one precinct. At the city’s precinct 156, which is St. John’s Presbyterian Church, only five of the 145 ballots cast on Election Day were in the recount container. Department of Elections Director Daniel Baxter said during the board meeting Friday that poll workers at the church on E. Lafayette failed to place the ballots in the transfer case. ‘They placed them, unfortunately, in the supply box,’ he said. When asked by a board member what the remedy would be, Baxter vowed his office will take action. ‘That entire board will probably be discharged and will not be able to work in future elections,’ Baxter said. ‘We will regroup and look at some of the issues that occurred at this particular election and reinforce training for our poll worker staff.” Wayne County Elections Director Delphine Oden has said that in some precincts, the number of ballots tabulated on Election Day did not match the number of ballots in the recount container. Friday’s recount results didn’t include the votes from 16 absentee voter counting boards and 17 Election Day precincts because they could not be recounted. Gilchrist called it ‘unacceptable’ and ‘problematic’ that 140 ballots were missing from precinct 156. ‘There continues to be issues and reasons why people in Detroit do no[t] trust the voting process,’ he said.” (Nicquel Terry, “Clerk Vote: 1 In 5 Detroit Precincts Can’t Be Recounted,” The Detroit News, 12/8/17)
Winfrey Was Certified As The Winner Of The Recount By The Wayne County Board Of Canvassers. “A ballot recount that started Tuesday in the hotly contested Detroit City Clerk’s race was certified Friday by the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, affirming that incumbent Janice Winfrey remains the victor in the race. Winfrey’s challenger, Garlin Gilchrist II, asked for the recount in light of various problems that were reported on Election Day. Among them was the misplacement of one precinct’s ballots in the wrong box. ‘It’s clear after this process has been completed that there continue to be issues and reasons why people in Detroit do not trust the voting process,’ Gilchrist said after the results were certified at a meeting in Cobo Center. He called for greater oversight. Gilchrist lost to Winfrey by 1,482 votes in the Nov. 7 election. He asked for a recount of 100 absentee voter counting boards, plus an additional 60 precincts.” (Ann Zaniewski, “Detroit City Clerk Race Recount Over; Winfrey Certified As Winner,” Detroit Free Press, 12/8/17)
Video Of Gilchrist Challenging The Results Of The Election
Gilchrist Claimed That Some Absentee Voters Received Multiple Conformation Receipts After Casting One Ballot. GARLIN GILCHRIST: “There were multiple absentee voters who actually received multiple confirmation receipts after only casting one ballot.” (WDIV-TV, 11/8/17)
Gilchrist Questioned The Legitimacy OF Late Surge Of Votes For His Opponent That Came In In The Middle Of The Night. GARLIN GILCHRIST: “I think that those are the ones that started to come in later and that’s when we started to see the tide shift and that causes us and I think causes voters to really want to understand what’s going on.” (WDIV-TV, 11/8/17)
Gilchrist Claimed That An Election Day Voter Was Turned Away From The Polls After Being Falsely Told That He Already Voted Absentee. GARLIN GILCHRIST: “There was a gentleman who went to vote at Western High School in southwest Detroit and when he got to the polling place he was actually told that he already voted by absentee ballot which he had not done.” (WDIV-TV, 11/8/17)
Gilchrist Claimed There Was “Questions” And “Doubt” About The Vote Count And The Election Counting Needs To Be More “Open And Transparent.” GARLIN GILCHRIST: “We’ve been talking about since March that the way votes are counted needs to be open and transparent for everyone to see to remove those questions to remove that doubt.” (WDIV-TV, 11/8/17)
In December 2017, Gilchrist Claimed That “Those Voters Of Detroit Will Not Be Able To Get Real Verification” About The Election. GARLIN GILCHRIST: “I’m saddened by the fact that so many votes in Detroit were not recount-able and for those voters they will not be able to get real verification about what happened. I’m thankful for the people who did step up and vote in Detroit and I want to encourage everyone to continue to do so because that’s ultimately how we get transparency and accountability for our elected officials in Detroit.” (Garlin Gilchrist Video, 12/8/17)
Benson Questioned The Legitimacy Of The 2000 And 2004 Presidential Elections
In May 2010, Benson Suggested That The Secretaries Of State In Florida In 2000 And Ohio In 2004 Changed The Outcome Of The Election To The Republicans. “In 2004, I worked on a national voter protection effort, hiring and training over 17,000 people to protect the vote on Election Day and make sure that no voter was wrongfully turned away. All of these things were part of my own effort to make sure every vote is counted and every vote counts. But what we saw in the 2000 election in Florida was how one individual, the Secretary of State of Florida, can make independent decisions, like removing otherwise eligible voters from the voter registration list or certifying an election before a full recount, that could change the course of a presidential election. In 2004 we saw the same thing, with a Secretary of State in Ohio. And so, even though I had spent my career working to be an advocate on the ‘outside,’ I started to see that it was really crucial that our secretary of State’s office was run by someone who understood the need to ensure that every vote counts and is counted.” (Jocelyn Benson, Op-Ed, “Democratic Secretary Of State Candidate, Explains Platform,” Michigan Chronicle, 5/26/10 – 6/1/10)
In Her Book, Benson Associated Katherine Harris With Nefarious Plots To Work Behind The Scenes To Effect The Outcome Of Elections. “It’s been called the ‘Katherine Harris effect,’ the suspicion that many Secretaries of State are nefariously working behind the scenes to tinker with the electoral process and ensure that their political party wins elections in their state. The ‘effect’ originated in November 2000.” (Jocelyn F. Benson, State Secretaries Of State, 2010)
Benson Implied That Secretary Of State Katherine Harris Of Florida Did Not Abide By The Law For Denying A Statewide Recount In 2000. “Benson studied law at Harvard and sociology at Oxford after spending time investigating white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. ‘I started my career at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery where I was working to investigate hate groups and hate crimes in Alabama and I think it was just impossible to be down there and not become inspired by all the work that has been done and all the sacrifices that were made so that the right to vote could be accessible to everyone,’ she said. ‘The 2000 election, I think, showed that if you don’t have a secretary of state who’s going to abide by the laws and allow a full recount to ensure that all the votes are counted, then everything we fight for is called into question.’” (Khalil Alhajal, “Benson Seeks Secretary Of State Seat,” The Arab American News, 2/13/10)
Benson Suggested That Electronic Voter Machines In 2004 Could Have Been “Hacked”
Benson Floated The Theory That Electronic Voter Machines Could Be “Hacked.” “Then the 2004 election occurred. Allegations swirled questioning whether electronic voting machines could be ‘hacked.’ Many questioned the overall security of a technology where a voter could enter their choice and walk away without any paper record to later verify that the machine had accurately recorded their choice. Out of this increased concern over the security of the electronic machines came a call for some sort of ‘voter verified paper trail,’ enabling voters to verify that their vote was accurately cast and counted.” (Jocelyn F. Benson, State Secretaries Of State, 2010)
Benson Called For A Post-Election Audit Of The 2016 Election
In April 2018, Benson Argued For Post-Election Audits Of The 2016 Election. “Benson also touched on security, which has been a hot topic since the 2016 election due to speculation of hacker interference on voting machines and data. Benson suggested post-election audits to ensure machines correctly counted ballots, and said she would devise a task force to oversee voting security. ‘In the 2016 election, we saw real threats to the security of our democracy,’ Benson said. ‘We know that there were efforts to hack and interfere our democracy, to nationally impact our machines, to take data from our voters and use it possibly for nefarious means. Regardless of what happened in 2016, the threats to the security of our elections did not begin and will not end with that election.’” (Joey Oliver, “Secretary Of State Candidate Speaks In Owosso,” The Argus-Press, 4/21/18)
Benson: “In The 2016 Election, We Saw Real Threats To The Security Of Our Democracy … We Know That There Were Efforts To Hack And Interfere Our Democracy, To Nationally Impact Our Machines, To Take Data From Our Voters And Use It Possibly For Nefarious Means.” (Joey Oliver, “Secretary Of State Candidate Speaks In Owosso,” The Argus-Press, 4/21/18)
Benson Formed The Michigan Election Security Commission In March 2019 And Hired A University Of Michigan Professor Who Claimed That Voting Machines Are Easily Hackable
In March 2019, Benson Formed The Michigan Election Security Commission. “The newly-formed Michigan Election Security Commission, established by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on March 20, 2019, held its first meeting on Tuesday, April 16, on the University of Michigan North Campus. Secretary Benson began the day by welcoming the 18 members of the commission and reviewing their charter. The commision then spent the day in work. The meeting took place in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building, home of the U-M Computer Science and Engineering Division.” (“Michigan’s New Election Security Commission Holds Inaugural Meeting On U-M Campus,” Michigan State University Computer Science and Engineering, 4/17/19)
Benson Created The Commission To Oversee Her Election Reform Measures. “Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is creating an advisory committee to help oversee implementation of Proposal 3’s provisions for expanding Michigan residents’ access to the ballot. The 25 committee members — including elected clerks from both parties, state voting rights advocates and election experts — also will provide Benson with input on other election reforms. About 67 percent of Michigan voters backed the ‘Promote the Vote’ proposal in November. Benson last week implemented its provision for no-reason absentee voting. Other reforms include automatic voter registration and the ability to register up to and on Election Day. ‘The results of last November’s election are clear: Michigan voters want to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat,’ Benson said.” (Julie Mack, “Secretary Of State Creates Advisory Committee On Election Reform – Correction Appended,” MLive, 2/25/19)
Benson: “The Results Of Last November’s Election Are Clear: Michigan Voters Want To Make It Easier To Vote And Harder To Cheat.” (Julie Mack, “Secretary Of State Creates Advisory Committee On Election Reform – Correction Appended,” MLive, 2/25/19)
Benson Hired University Of Michigan Professor J. Alex Halderman To Co-Chair The Michigan Election Security Commission – Halderman Recommended A State-Wide Paper Recount Of The Ballots In The 2016 Presidential Election Claiming That The Voting Machines Are Easily Hackable. “A professor who has warned of hacking threats and recommended a state recount in the 2016 presidential election will co-chair a new Michigan Election Security Commission announced this week by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. The commission, which is expected to recommend reforms and strategies to improve election security, will be co-chaired by David Becker, the executive director of the nonprofit Center for Election Innovation and Research, and University of Michigan Professor J. Alex Halderman, director of the school’s Center for Computer Security and Society. ‘The security of our elections is critical to the security of our democracy,’ Benson said in a statement, describing the commission as a ‘‘first-of-its-kind’ effort. Halderman once hacked a voting machine to play PacMan and last year worked with the New York Times to stage a mock election that demonstrated voting machine vulnerabilities. He also urged a paper ballot recount in the 2016 presidential election for critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that helped deliver an unexpected win for President Donald Trump. While the deviation between Trump’s vote totals and pre-election surveys was probably the result of polls that were ‘systematically’ wrong, ‘the only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence,’ Halderman wrote in 2016.” (Jonathan Oosting, “Benson Names 2016 Recount Advocate To Election Security Commission,” The Detroit News, 3/21/19)
“Halderman Once Hacked A Voting Machine To Play Pacman And Last Year Worked With The New York Times To Stage A Mock Election That Demonstrated Voting Machine Vulnerabilities.” (Jonathan Oosting, “Benson Names 2016 Recount Advocate To Election Security Commission,” The Detroit News, 3/21/19)
Halderman In 2016: “The Only Way To Know Whether A Cyberattack Changed The Result Is To Closely Examine The Available Physical Evidence.” (Jonathan Oosting, “Benson Names 2016 Recount Advocate To Election Security Commission,” The Detroit News, 3/21/19)
Benson: “The Security Of Our Elections Is Critical To The Security Of Our Democracy.” (Jonathan Oosting, “Benson Names 2016 Recount Advocate To Election Security Commission,” The Detroit News, 3/21/19)
Benson Described Halderman As “One Of Our Nation’s Leading Election Security Experts.” “Benson, who guest hosted a WJR-AM radio show on Thursday morning, spoke with Halderman about the commission and introduced him as ‘one of our nation’s leading election security experts.’ But GOP strategist Stu Sandler criticized the appointment, saying Halderman pushed ‘the senseless recount in 2016 that cost millions and produced nothing.’” (Jonathan Oosting, “Benson Names 2016 Recount Advocate To Election Security Commission,” The Detroit News, 3/21/19)
The University Of Michigan Noted That Halderman’s Position On The Commission Will Give Halderman The Opportunity To Strongly Advise On Security Measures Taken In The State.” “The commission is co-chaired by Prof. J. Alex Halderman, whose work in election security and in exposing the vulnerabilities of electronic voting machines has positioned him as a preeminent expert in the field. His position on the commission will give Halderman the opportunity to strongly advise on security measures taken in the state.” (“Michigan’s New Election Security Commission Holds Inaugural Meeting On U-M Campus,” Michigan State University Computer Science and Engineering, 4/17/19)
Benson Called For The Electoral College To Be Reformed
In November 2014, Benson Argued That The Electoral College Needs To Be Reformed. “A House committee took testimony Monday about a controversial proposal to abolish Michigan’s winner-take-all approach to awarding electoral votes to presidential candidates and divvy them up based on the results. The House Elections and Ethic Committee, which held a rare hearing during the Legislature’s deer hunting break, heard little support for Rep. Pete Lund’s proposal to change the way Michigan awards its 16 electoral votes. Under Lund’s proposal, the popular vote winner would receive a minimum of nine electoral votes. But for every 1.5 percent of the vote above 50 percent, the top popular vote-getter would win another electoral vote, giving the other top candidate an incentive to compete in Michigan, Lund said. Under the winner-take-all approach, Democratic presidential candidates have won all of Michigan’s electoral votes since 1992. ‘It rewards the candidate who actually comes here and plays here and talks about our issues,’ said Lund, R-Shelby Township, about his proposal. ‘And if somebody decides they don’t want to (compete in Michigan), then there’s potential they could lose all of the vote.’ Democrats, election watchdog groups and political science professors testified against the bill, saying it amounts to a scheme designed to ‘rig’ the Electoral College in the favor of Republicans. Several voiced support for a movement to change the Electoral College to a national popular vote to avoid a repeat of the disputed 2000 election in which then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush won more state electoral votes than Vice President Al Gore but lost the popular vote. ‘Reform is needed, but not this reform,’ said Jocelyn Benson, dean of the Wayne State University law school and the Democrats’ unsuccessful 2010 secretary of state candidate.” (Chad Livengood, “Critics Blast Michigan Electoral Reform Plan,” The Detroit News, 11/17/14)
In November 2018, One Week After Getting Elected, Benson Called The People Of Michigan To Begin A Debate On Changing The Electoral College. “Michigan’s Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson is calling on residents to debate the way America selects presidents. Benson, who will oversee the next presidential election for the state as the newly elected Michigan secretary of state, said as the 2020 election approaches, conversations on election reforms will increase, as will questions surrounding whether the Electoral College remains effective. ‘It’s an important national discussion we need to have, and now is the time,’ Benson said Tuesday, a week after winning her race against Mary Treder Lang, at a symposium by the National Popular Vote campaign at the University of Michigan. ‘In Michigan, we have a real opportunity to build a robust and comprehensive democracy reform agenda, bolstered by the two proposals that just passed, which are making us more transparent.’ Proposals 2 and 3, ballot issues that passed last week, create a citizens redistricting commission and expand voter rights. Law professors, public policy officials and political science experts gathered at University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ahead of Benson’s speech to discuss whether electoral votes that decide a presidential election should be changed in favor of the popular vote.” (Sarah Rahal, “Benson Urges Debate On How Presidents Elected,” The Detroit News, 11/13/18)
Benson: “I Think There Are Many Ways To Reform The System With An Eye Towards Creating Or Encouraging An Informed And Engaged Election And Restoring Voter Confidence In The System.” “Benson didn’t take a stance on whether the Electoral College should be replaced by the popular vote. She said she’s focused on restoring voter confidence so they don’t become disengaged. ‘I think there are many ways to reform the system with an eye towards creating or encouraging an informed and engaged election and restoring voter confidence in the system,’ Benson told The Detroit News after the forum.” (Sarah Rahal, “Benson Urges Debate On How Presidents Elected,” The Detroit News, 11/13/18)
In November 2018, At The University Of Michigan, Benson Said: “…There’s Going To Be More Questions As To Whether Or Not The Current Structure Of Our Electoral College Is Really Effective At Achieving A Democracy…” “In the keynote address at a University of Michigan symposium about the Electoral College and alternative methods of selecting presidents, Benson said the discussion of reforms will grow in importance ahead of the 2020 presidential vote. ‘It’s only going to increase,’ she said, ‘and there’s going to be more questions as to whether or not the current structure of our Electoral College is really effective at achieving a democracy where voters are informed, engaged and have confidence in the results of our election.’” (McKenzie Sanderson, “‘Citizens Are Leading The Way,” MLive, 11/15/18)
In 2012, Whitmer Used Her Role As Presider In The Counting Of The Presidential Electors To Invoke “Personal Privilege” To Attack Her Political Opponents And Passed A Resolution Condemning Right To Work Laws
Whitmer Used Her Role As Presider Over The Counting Of The Presidential Electors For Michigan In Lansing On December 18, 2012 To Attack Her Political Rival, Governor Snyder – The Electors Passed A Partisan Resolution Attacking Right To Work Laws In Michigan, Among Other Issues. “Michigan Democrats on Monday used a ceremony for formally casting the state’s 16 Electoral College votes for President Barack Obama’s re-election to lambaste Republicans in charge of state government. The gathering of the electors inside the state Senate chambers here centered more on the debates that divided the lame-duck Legislature last week than the Nov. 6 presidential election. Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, presided over the formal nomination and casting of electoral votes for Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Standing at the Senate dais, Whitmer invoked a personal privilege to blast Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-controlled Legislature for passing a right-to-work law and other bills opening up gun-free zones to concealed weapons holders, slashing business taxes and limiting citizen-initiated recalls. ‘There was no mandate for what took place here last week, only outrage after it was discovered what was happening,’ Whitmer said. ‘Special interests got their way, while the people of Michigan got locked out of the building – literally.’ Whitmer was referencing the Michigan State Police’s decision to temporarily lock the Capitol doors on Dec. 6 to block hundreds of union protesters from getting inside the building during the first day of House and Senate debate on the right-to-work bill. A judge later ordered the doors open, and the State Police changed its approach Dec. 11 during the second day of right-to-work protests. After Whitmer’s speech, the Michigan Electoral College members – all Democrats – approved a nonbinding resolution condemning the Republican-controlled Legislature for rushing ‘ill-conceived bills’ through the lame-duck session with little public debate, limited committee hearings and few thorough readings of the bills.” (Chad Livengood, “Lame-Duck Push Ripped,” The Detroit News, 12/18/12)
Whitmer Defended Allowing The Casting Of Electoral College Votes To Be Utilized As A Political Event, Whitmer Said: “When The Electoral College Meets, They Can Pass Whatever Type Of Resolution That They Want.” “Asked after the event why the presidential electors were wading into state political issues, Whitmer responded: ‘When the Electoral College meets, they can pass whatever type of resolution that they want.’ Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said Democrats requested use of the chamber to formally cast their votes for Obama. ‘I didn’t know they would be grandstanding as well,’ Richardville told The Detroit News. Obama, a Democrat, captured Michigan’s electoral college votes after winning 54 percent of the state’s popular vote over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.” (Chad Livengood, “Lame-Duck Push Ripped,” The Detroit News, 12/18/12)
While Presiding Over The Electoral College Ceremony, Whitmer Invoked Personal Privilege And Attacked Governor Snyder Over Partisan Political Issues Such As Right To Work, Gun Control And Abortion And Then Criticized The Michigan State Police For Closing The Doors To The Capitol. “Standing at the Senate dais, Whitmer invoked a personal privilege to blast Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-controlled Legislature for passing a right-to-work law and other bills opening up gun-free zones to concealed weapons holders, slashing business taxes and limiting citizen-initiated recalls. ‘There was no mandate for what took place here last week, only outrage after it was discovered what was happening,’ Whitmer said. ‘Special interests got their way, while the people of Michigan got locked out of the building – literally.’ Whitmer was referencing the Michigan State Police’s decision to temporarily lock the Capitol doors on Dec. 6 to block hundreds of union protesters from getting inside the building during the first day of House and Senate debate on the right-to-work bill.” (Chad Livengood, “Lame-Duck Push Ripped,” The Detroit News, 12/18/12)
Whitmer Spread The Conspiracy Theory That The Post Office Was Sabotaging The 2020 Presidential Election In Favor Of Trump
In August 2020, Reports Surfaced That Mail Sorting Machines Were Being Taken Apart At Two Mail Sorting Facilities In Grand Rapids. “The electrical components in two mail sorting machines at a downtown Grand Rapids U.S. Postal Service office were removed on Tuesday, a union representative confirmed Wednesday. Tuesday was the same day U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the practice would stop until after the November election. Components in a third machine were in the process of being removed when the order was issued. Amy Puhalski, president of American Postal Workers Union Local 281, said while the machines are not being further taken apart, they are unusable without the electrical components, and there have been no directives to reinstall them. Internal sources say mail sorting machines are being dismantled at downtown GR post office. Process started yesterday. Order came from Postmaster General DeJoy.” (Arpan Lobo, “Mail Sorting Machines Taken Apart In Grand Rapids,” Holland Sentinel, 8/19/20)
In August 2020, Nessel Joined A Lawsuit Suing The U.S. Postal Service; The Lawsuit Alleged That The Trump Administration Was Intentionally Slowing Mail Service. “Michigan will join other states in filing a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday. The announcement comes amid mounting national concern the Trump administration is meddling with the postal service in an effort to impact the general election in November. Those concerns are amplified by President Donald Trump repeating false claims that voting by mail will lead to a rigged and corrupt election. The lawsuit accuses U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of taking actions intentionally aimed at slowing or otherwise debilitating the efforts of the postal service. Millions of Americans — including 3 million or more Michiganders — are expected to cast absentee ballots this fall using the mail, citing health and safety concerns about voting in a polling place during the coronavirus pandemic.” (Dave Boucher, “Michigan Joins Lawsuit Against USPS, Citing Election Concerns,” Detroit Free Press, 8/18/20)
Whitmer Accused President Trump Of Sabotaging The Post Office. “Nessel, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the lawsuit was necessary to ensure the integrity of the election this fall. ‘President Trump’s attempts to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service are deeply disturbing, and we intend to do everything in our power to mitigate their effect on Michigan residents,’ Whitmer said in a news release. ‘Americans rely on our Postal Service for prescription drugs, voting, Social Security checks and more. The president is putting families’ health and safety at risk in his attempt to suppress votes in the 2020 election. That’s why Attorney General Nessel, Secretary Benson and I are fighting these unlawful changes to USPS operations to protect Michigan families.’” (Dave Boucher, “Michigan Joins Lawsuit Against USPS, Citing Election Concerns,” Detroit Free Press, 8/18/20)
Whitmer: “President Trump’s Attempts To Sabotage The U.S. Postal Service Are Deeply Disturbing, And We Intend To Do Everything In Our Power To Mitigate Their Effect On Michigan Residents.” (Dave Boucher, “Michigan Joins Lawsuit Against USPS, Citing Election Concerns,” Detroit Free Press, 8/18/20)
Fact: President Trump Never Told The Post Office To Slow Mail Service
President Trump Has Never Told The Postal Service To Change Operations To Slow Mail Service. “U.S. President Donald Trump has never told the Postal Service to change operations to slow mail service, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Tuesday, after Democrats accused Trump of slowing delivery to hinder mail-in voting. ‘President Trump at no time has instructed or directed the post office to cut back on overtime, or any other operational decision that would slow things down,’ Meadows said, according to a media pool report.” (“Trump Did Not Order Changes In Service At Post Office: White House Aide,” Reuters, 8/18/20)
President Trump Told Reporters That He Has “Encouraged Everybody To Speed Up The Mail, Not Slow The Mail.” “Trump told reporters Monday that he had ‘encouraged everybody to speed up the mail, not slow the mail,’ but critics point to policy changes made by DeJoy, a close ally of the president and a Republican fundraiser, as the cause of the holdup.” (Phil McCausland and Allan Smith, “Trump Denies Delaying Mail; Postal Service Head Slated To Testify Before Congress,” NBC News, 8/17/20)
In July, The Post Office Sent a Memo To Its Carriers Emphasizing The Importance Of Timely Delivery, Departing For Their Routes On Time And Not To Make Any More Unauthorized Trips. (“Mandatory Sand-Up Talk: All Employees,” Memo, United States Postal Service, 7/10/20)
The Post Office Stressed The Importance Of Timely Delivery Of Mail. (David Ditch, “Fact Check: Debunking 10Myths About The US Postal Service,” The Daily Signal, 8/18/20)
The Trump Administration Was Not Taking Mail Sorting Machines Offline
A USPS Spokesman Said That The Removal Of Machines Was Due To “Normal Business Adjustments” And That Equipment Was Being Adjusted Due To A Decline In The Volume Of Mail And An Increase In The Volume Of Packages. “David Partenhemier, a USPS spokesman, in an email to NBC News characterized the removal of the hundreds of machines as: ‘Normal business adjustments!’ He added that the agency often moves equipment to match fluctuating volume. ‘Package volume is up, but mail volume continues to decline,’ he wrote. ‘Adapting our processing infrastructure to the current volumes will ensure more efficient, cost effective operations and better service for our customers.’” (Phil McCausland, Geoff Bennett, and Kevin Collier, “U.S. Postal Service Warns Numerous States That Mail-In Ballots May Be delivered Too Late,” NBC News, 8/14/20)
Overall Mail Volume Has Fallen 33 Percent Since 2006. “The Democratic letter to the FBI cites news reports that the USPS is decommissioning hundreds of mail-sorting machines. But the context is that overall mail volume has fallen 33% since 2006.” (The Editorial Board, “Nancy Pelosi Goes Politically Postal,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/20)
The President Of The American Catalog Mailers Association, Hamilton Davison, Pointed Out That “They’ve Been Taking Machines Out Of Service For Years Now.” “‘They’ve been taking machines out of service for years now, and I’ve been encouraging them to do it more aggressively,’ says Hamilton Davison, the president of the American Catalog Mailers Association. ‘I think that’s a good thing for America, because we don’t want to pay for stuff that we don’t need.’” (The Editorial Board, “Nancy Pelosi Goes Politically Postal,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/20)
Stephen Kearney, Executive Director Of The Alliance Of Nonprofit Mailers, Explained That “To Be Efficient And Not Waste Money, You Need To Take Out Some Of That Capacity” In Order To Avoid An Increase In Postage Rates. “Mr. Kearney, who now runs the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, concurs. ‘It’s obvious, to be efficient and not waste money, you need to take out some of that capacity,’ he says. His group has similarly been urging productivity improvements, ‘because if they don’t do that, our postage rates are going to go way up.’” (The Editorial Board, “Nancy Pelosi Goes Politically Postal,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/20)
In An Abundance Of Caution, White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows Said That The USPS Will Not Dismantle Any Mail-Sorting Machines Between Now And Election Day. “White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said earlier Sunday that USPS will not dismantle any mail-sorting machines between now and Election Day. ‘Sorting machines between now and Election Day will not be taken off line,’ Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union.’” (Paul P. Murphy and Kevin Bohn, “Amid Criticism, USPS Says It Will Stop Removing Collection Boxes For 90 Days,” CNN, 8/16/20)
Senator Mallory McMorrow
McMorrow Entertained The Idea Of Using The Electoral College To Overturn The 2016 Presidential Election
In December 2016, Mallory McMorrow Tweeted: “Ok, so say Electoral College denies Trump, or the gov. takes action against Russia…then what? The other half of the country is raging mad?” (Mallory McMorrow, Twitter, 12/16/16)
In December 2016, Mallory McMorrow Tweeted: “& electors defecting to cast votes for Bernie, Colin Powell (?) when zero electors defected from Trump makes a hell of a statement.” (Mallory McMorrow, Twitter, 12/19/16)
McMorrow Pushed The Lie That The Russians Intervened In The 2016 Election
In December 2016, Mallory McMorrow Tweeted: “So….now what? “CIA says Russia intervened to help Trump win White House http://reut.rs/2gLgLfI via @Reuters.” (Mallory McMorrow, Twitter, 12/10/16)