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Michigan House speaker: Hearings scheduled to investigate election

House and Senate Oversight committees will look into voting and ballot counting processes
The Michigan Capitol building in Lansing.
The Michigan Capitol building in Lansing.((source: WJRT))
Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 4:01 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan legislators are planning hearings to investigate the voting and ballot counting process around the state after Tuesday’s election.

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield announced Friday that the House and Senate Oversight committees will begin hearings on Saturday to look into the voting and tabulating process. He said the hearings will provide everyone confidence in the results and make sure the next election runs smoothly.

“Every single legal vote needs to be counted, regardless of who cast it or who they voted for,” Chatfield said. “And then the candidate who wins the most of those votes will win Michigan’s electoral votes, just like it always has been. Nothing about that process will change in 2020.”

Sen. Ed McBroom, a Republican from Waucedah in the Upper Peninsula, is chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee. He called for patience while legislators look into whether anything illegal happened during the election process.

“Pouring gas on every potential fear and spreading doubt about the integrity of the system is not the answer, nor is ignoring troubling reports and dismissing out of hand anecdotal evidence that problems may exist,” McBroom said.

State Rep. Matt Hall, a Republican from Marshall, is chairman of the House Oversight Committee. He said the voting and election process are a cornerstone of American society, but this week’s election is calling it into question.

“We must deliver answers. By doing so, we can help deliver a process that earns the trust of the people. Without that trust, these issues are likely to repeat themselves in the future,” Hall said. “This has nothing to do with party or a particular candidate and everything to do with safeguarding the integrity of our elections.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes on Tuesday with 51% of the vote -- a difference of about 150,000 votes.

President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit in the Michigan Court of Claims on Wednesday, alleging that election watchers weren’t allowed to witness the ballot counting process as required by law. A judge threw out the lawsuit the following day.

Protesters outside the TCF Center in Detroit also are seeking to halt Wayne County’s ballot counting process.

“The people of Michigan deserve peace of mind, and we are going to provide it," Chatfield said.

Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, a Democrat from Flint, said the upcoming oversight hearings in the Legislature are “a sad development” and will only “feed the chaos on which this president thrives.”

“President Trump won the election by 10,000 votes in 2016 and Democrats took it like adults,” Ananich said. “This time, Vice President Biden won by nearly 15 times Trump’s margin, but Republicans are choosing to side with conspiracy theorists and abuse the power of the Legislature in attempt to soothe their bruised egos.”

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