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Some voter fraud investigations may be banned in critical swing state

The Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. (Joel Bissell |
May 02, 2024

Democrats in the Michigan State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would prohibit bipartisan election boards from investigating voter fraud in the state.

According to Bridge Michigan, Senate Bill 603 was passed on Tuesday along party lines, with Republican lawmakers warning that if the bill is signed into law, “there’s nothing that can be done” if election fraud is witnessed or suspected by a board of state canvassers.

Democrat lawmakers argued that investigations into voter fraud allegations should be led by law enforcement officials instead of bipartisan election boards.

“We’ve got other areas of law that talk about fraud, that talk about tampering, but when we’re talking about a recount… let’s make sure that what we’re talking about with a recount is the actual re-tally of the votes,” Democratic State Sen. Stephanie Chang said.

The Daily Wire reported that the state currently grants state boards of canvassers the authority to investigate ballot tampering or other voter fraud concerns. Each of the bipartisan boards includes two Democrats and two Republicans.

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“Senate Bill 603 ends the ability of local officials to investigate potential fraud, illegal activity, or even ballot tampering during a recount by deleting current provisions in Michigan election law that give this authority to bipartisan county boards of canvassers,” Republican State Sen. Ruth Johnson warned. “These are time-honored checks and balances that exist in our system.”

Johnson explained that if the state wants people to “have faith in the electoral process,” then the state should not remove the right of Michigan residents to have voter fraud allegations investigated during a potential recount. The Republican lawmaker argued that the authority given to bipartisan boards to investigate voter fraud allegations “should not be removed from the law.”

In addition to banning bipartisan boards from investigating voter fraud, The Daily Wire reported that Senate Bill 603 would require a 0.1% vote difference to trigger an automatic recount instead of the current 2,000-vote difference threshold.

In response to the Democrat-backed legislation, Republican State Sen. Jim Runestad tweeted, “Michigan Democrats are terrified Biden will implode and drag them down. So today they bet the bank and went all out to codify election fraud into state statute with SB 603. Today they smashed through this gigantic pile of election-fraud-enabling legislation today with Democrat only votes.”