Audit: Election Bureau does Sufficient Job, Training Lags

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s elections bureau did a sufficient job overall in maintaining the integrity of the voter database, conducting post-election audits and training local clerks — with some exceptions — state auditors said Friday while recommending improvements.

Their report covers 2019 and 2020 elections, including the race that former President Donald Trump has falsely claimed was fraudulent. It found that 99.99% of votes were not duplicates and were cast by age-eligible voters. Just 2,775 votes, or 0.002% of millions, were cast by people who died before or on Election Day. Almost all of them, 99.6%, had submitted absentee ballots, which can be done in the 40 days before an election.

The auditor general reported three less serious findings and one more serious “material” condition — that the bureau did not ensure that county clerks and their staff received post-election audit training or were appropriately certified to conduct the audits. Slightly more than half of clerks, 43, did not view webinars and videos; eight of them were not fully accredited at the time they did post-election audits.

Auditors recommended that the state require direct instruction, do competency assessments and verify completion. The Department of State, which includes the elections bureau, agreed with the recommendations and said a past training module has been replaced with a certification course.