Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Smit: Democrats working to alter state’s recount procedures, weaken election laws
RELEASE|May 23, 2024
Contact: Rachelle Smit

State Rep. Rachelle Smit (R-Martin) criticized Democrat legislation taken up in the House Elections Committee this week, stating that the proposal strips 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 under consideration 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.

“Our current laws that afford bipartisan county boards of canvassers the authority to investigate fraud in our elections are essential to the integrity of our elections,” said Smit, who serves as Republican vice chair of the House Elections Committee and was a former local elections clerk. “These laws establish clear checks and balances that give the people of Michigan faith in the trustworthiness of poll workers and clerks and the accuracy of election results. Sadly, the bills before us would remove multiple references to fraud and even strike out references to ballot tampering. This certainly won’t deliver a better elections system.”

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.

Following party-line approval of the bills by the House Elections Committee, SBs 603-04 now move to the House for consideration.

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