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Michigan Republicans eviscerate Trump voter fraud claims in scathing report

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The Republican-led Michigan Senate Oversight Committee refuted voter fraud claims made by Donald Trump, debunking claims of malfeasance in the state’s election last fall and affirming that Joe Biden was victorious, in a highly-anticipated report released Wednesday.

The report is the product of an eight-month inquiry and concludes there was no basis or evidence to support the Trump’s repeated claims that the election results failed to reflect the will of the voters.

“As is often the case, the truth is not as attractive or as immediately desirable as the lies and the lies contain elements of truth,” State Sen. Ed McBroom, the Republican chairman of the committee that investigated the election, said in a statement that accompanied the report. “We must all remember: ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof’ and ‘claiming to find something extraordinary requires first eliminating the ordinary.'”

The report, which was supported by every Republican on the committee, was clear: “This Committee found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election.”

Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes, a 3 percentage point victory over Trump. The election results had already been affirmed by court rulings, state canvassers and an earlier audits completed by the Michigan Secretary of State. .

McBroom said he feels confident the state’s results were accurate following his review. He continues to offer support for Republican-led voting law changes. McBroom said many of the claims of malfeasance were the result of “a misunderstanding or an outright deception.”

“Also, sources must lose credibility when it is shown they promote falsehoods, even more when they never take accountability for those falsehoods,” he said. “At this point, I feel confident to assert the results of the Michigan election are accurately represented by the certified and audited results.”

The report singled out the false claims of fraud in Antrim County, a small county in the norther part of the state where human error by election officials initially led to results showing Biden winning the county. The error was quickly corrected, and the certified results showed a substantial Trump victory there. But the rectified error has fueled false claims of fraud in the state.

“The committee recommends the Attorney General consider investigating those who have been utilizing misleading and false information about Antrim County to raise money or publicity for their own ends,” the report said, adding, “The many hours of testimony before the committee showed these claims are unjustified and unfair to the people of Antrim County and the state of Michigan.”

In his statement, McBroom said: “All compelling theories that sprang forth from the rumors surrounding Antrim County are diminished so significantly as for it to be a complete waste of time to consider them further.”

Trump-backers have alleged that the election technology utilized by elections officials there may have changed votes or otherwise incorrectly processed the results. Those claims have contributed to a push from some on the far-right to conduct an Arizona-style partisan ballot review in the state.

“Most of the rigorous debate over additional audits comes from fears surrounding the technology used and its vulnerabilities as allegedly demonstrated in Antrim County,” McBroom said. “Without any evidence to validate those fears, another audit, a so-called forensic audit, is not justifiable.”

“Michigan’s already completed post-election audit and risk-limiting audit are also far more substantive than Arizona’s standard audit,” he added. “However, I am keeping a close eye on the legislatively-initiated forensic audit in Arizona and will continue to ask questions regarding other election issues I feel are not settled.”

State Sen. Jeff Irwin, the committee’s lone Democrat, voted against adopting the report because it endorses Republican-sponsored voting legislation introduced in the state, The Detroit Free Press reported.

Voter fraud in U.S. elections is exceedingly rare. Soon after last fall’s election, Trump’s then-top cybersecurity official said it was “the most secure in American history,” while then-Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread malfeasance.

Last month, Trump targeted Michigan Senate Republicans for not doing enough to substantiate his baseless fraud claims.

“Has the Michigan State Senate started their review of the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 yet, or are they about to start?” he said. “If not, they should be run out of office.”

Last week, a small group of pro-Trump activists gathered outside the Michigan Capitol to demand an Arizona-style ballot review. At that rally, supporters blessed boxes containing affidavits and prayed for elected officials to see the fraud they believe happened. This week, the Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners advanced a request to the state Bureau of Elections to audit their 2020 election results.

That comes amid a backdrop of other pro-Trump activists and lawmakers pushing for ballot reviews similar to Arizona’s and visiting the site of that audit in Maricopa County.

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