LANSING, MI – The Michigan Election Office is responding to a subpoena from Republican-led oversight committees in the Legislature with 1,100 documents related to absent-vote efforts.
Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the release of the document on behalf of the Michigan Bureau of Elections, saying that although his office challenges the legality of the subpoena, the documents are provided to “promote cooperation and transparency” between branches of the state government.
“Michigan’s election was fair and transparent,” Nessel said in a statement. “It’s time to put politics aside and focus on moving our state and our country forward together. We hope that the Bureau’s response to the Legislative Assembly’s summons today will help to do so.
On November 7, State Representative Matt Hall, R-Marshall and other GOP lawmakers announced the subpoenas review documents regarding the state’s efforts to promote postal voting and voter registration for this fall’s presidential election.
The commissions asked the electoral office to provide the documents within nine days. The response to the summons responds to this request. While Nessel argued the delay was “onerous”, she will work with the Elections Office and the Secretary of State’s office to continue providing documents “on an ongoing basis.”
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement the end result of the subpoena would only reconfirm the integrity of the election results, said
“The documents underscore what millions of Michiganders and thousands of clerks and election workers already know and experienced firsthand: that our elections are secure and that the results faithfully reflect the will of the people,” she said. declared. “I hope lawmakers will now cease their unworthy attempt to falsely denigrate our election simply because they are disappointed with the results, and instead join my office and many local clerks in assuring the public that in In this election, every valid vote has been counted and every vote has been heard. ”
She and Nessel also noted that election verification is well advanced with the process of soliciting local councils. Hall told MLive on Monday evening that he was reviewing the documents and Nessel’s release.
Hall said last week that the summons of his COVID-19 watchdog is not a challenge to election results, but a chance to review recent Michigan electoral changes such as Proposition 3. The law approved by the voters of 2018 authorized for same-day registration, requests for postal votes without reason and postal voting.
“This is the first election that we have with Proposition 3 which has considerably broadened the vote for those absent,” he said. “This is the first election where we have addressed this law on pre-processing (of postal ballots). We need to look at how they work, and these are valid things that legislators need to look at. “
Democrats such as House Minority Leader Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills, stressed that the general election was not the first time Proposition 3 had been implemented, as it was in place for the election. state primaries in March and August.
Senator Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, who chairs the Senate Oversight Committee, said on November 7: “I want to assure everyone involved that the premise of these hearings is not to overturn the will of the people to this state.
The subpoena must serve a legislative purpose, according to the statement from Nessel’s office, noting that Republican lawmakers said in a separate letter to Chief Electoral Officer Jonathan Brater that their investigation responds to “numerous allegations regarding the integrity of the elections of the November 3. “
Merely responding to the allegations “cannot be considered a legislative objective of any House or Senate committee,” the attorney general’s office said.
Hall argued that reviewing electoral procedures enables his committee to help lawmakers reform election law in the future, while contesting election results is a separate court case from the Michigan GOP organization. .
“It’s their job to take this matter to court, and it’s our job to make sure we have laws in place that will work well for the people of Michigan,” he said. “If the laws weren’t followed, we have to make sure they are the next time around. “