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Conservative activists request audit of Michigan election

June 17, 2021 GMT
Conservatives gather on the steps of the Michigan Capitol before delivering thousands of affidavits requesting that lawmakers order an "forensic" audit of the 2020 election in the battleground state on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Lansing, Mich.  (AP Photo/David Eggert)
Conservatives gather on the steps of the Michigan Capitol before delivering thousands of affidavits requesting that lawmakers order an "forensic" audit of the 2020 election in the battleground state on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/David Eggert)
Conservatives gather on the steps of the Michigan Capitol before delivering thousands of affidavits requesting that lawmakers order an "forensic" audit of the 2020 election in the battleground state on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/David Eggert)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Conservative activists who falsely claim former President Donald Trump won reelection asked the Republican-led Michigan Senate on Thursday to order an audit of the results, seeking a review like one that is underway in fellow battleground state Arizona.

Michigan Conservative Coalition co-founder Marian Sheridan said “something very wrong” happened in the 2020 election, though Trump’s unfounded fraud allegations have been resoundingly rejected by officials who certified the results, judges and others. The group said it submitted more than 7,000 affidavits from people backing a “forensic” audit.

“There has been an egregious injustice here in the state of Michigan and many other places,” said Lana Kristal of Bingham Farms.

It does not appear that Senate Republicans will embrace the request. Joe Biden defeated Trump by more than 154,000 votes, or about 2.8 percentage points, in the state.

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Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Clarklake Republican who has acknowledged Biden won Michigan, said the delivery of petitions shows people “are still frustrated with how the election was prosecuted and frankly some of them are still frustrated with the results.” The Senate Oversight Committee has done an “unbelievable job” studying the election and will release a report next week, he said.

Shirkey said he is staying in touch with Arizona legislators and, once that audit is complete, will compare Arizona’s process to the Michigan panel’s work. He likened the committee’s review, which included hearings and testimony from election officials, election companies, Republican poll challengers and others, to an “audit.”

GOP senators this week approved tighter photo ID requirements for future Michigan elections, which Democrats denounced as a bid to suppress votes by making it harder to request absentee ballots and to vote in person without identification.

A 2018 constitutional amendment that expanded voting options gave voters the right to have statewide election results audited, in such as manner as prescribed by law. Legislators delegated audit procedures to the secretary of state.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, has said 250 post-election audits were conducted around Michigan and are “concrete evidence that November’s election was fair, secure and accurate, and that the results reflect the will of Michigan voters.”

The effort in Arizona will not change Biden’s victory, and election experts have pointed to flaws in the partisan process. But it has become a model for Republicans in other states hoping to turn up evidence supporting conspiracy theories.

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Follow David Eggert at https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00