Did Michigan's legislators really rule out 2020 election fraud?

No doubt there is much "told you so" satisfaction among Democrats in the wake of the McBroom Report, which debunked the notion of widespread improprieties and fraud in Michigan with regard to the 2020 presidential election.  It was a double-blow to conservative Republicans coming from a Republican-dominated state Senate and Oversight Committee.  We are told that scores of documents were reviewed and public testimony elicited with a deep dive into the election process. 

The Michigan Senate Oversight Committee might be more properly referred to as the "Sightless" Committee.  What did they fail to see or address?  Let's examine just three areas.

In Antrim County, they dismissed the need for a full forensic audit and noted that a risk-limited audit had already been completed that had demonstrated no widespread irregularities or fraud.  Were they aware that Professor Phillip Stark, who created the risk-limited audit as the gold standard for audits, resigned from Verified Voting because of concerns that this type of audit was inadequate in the evaluation of an election?  A risk-limited audit can pretty accurately determine if vote tallies are legitimate.  But conclusions based on such audits presumes that paper ballots are an accurate reflection of the voters' wishes.  As Professor Stark said, "[b]ecause there is software between the voter and paper, what the paper shows might not be what the voter did or saw."  There is no evidence that Professor Stark was interviewed or his opinions examined by the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee.

Matt DePerno, who is the attorney pursuing the request for a full forensic audit in Antrim County, was not interviewed by the committee.  Neither was the forensic team (Allied Security Operations Group, AKA ASOG) who performed the original preliminary investigation.  The fair-minded approach would be to address each point in the forensic report and allow DePerno and team to express their viewpoints in a hearing with opposing analysis from the other side.  This level of detailed examination should then be made available to the public to honor the spirit of transparency.

Cleaning up of the registration rolls is the second area of concern.  Apparently, the committee was not impressed with the claims that there were deceased or non-resident voters in the election to any significant extent.  Secretary of state Benson, prior to the Nov 2020 election, acknowledged that 500,000 names needed to be removed from the rolls because of persons being deceased or having moved.  However, because it was within 90 days of the election, by Michigan law, it could not be done.  Why wasn't this voter roll maintenance performed sooner?  Seems a bit convenient to wait until the window of action was closed.  After the election, in a show of election integrity grandstanding, she removed 177,000.   What happened to the other 323,000?  For those concerned about election security, it is a red flag to have thousands of ghost names on the registration rolls to which fraudulent absentee ballots could be tied by bad actors and then run through election tabulators.  But, says the committee report, there is no evidence that ineligible persons from the voter registration rolls actually voted, based on 200 names provided to them.  Who provided the names?  Democrat officials from the City of Detroit?  We are to believe that there was no cherry-picking of the names presented to the committee?  Stretches the bounds of credulity.

A third area of concern is the TCF Center in Detroit.  The debacle at TCF on Election Day will long live in the memories of patriots and conservatives in Michigan for years to come.  Scores of affidavits were filed by Republican poll challengers relating the abuse, harassment, and dismissal of election laws and procedures.  The other side released their affidavits in response.  Reminds one of the parent with the dilemma of two children fighting with each other.  If you don't want to dive into who is the culprit and who is innocent, you punish both of them and send them to bed.  Among the Republican poll challengers were those known to many of us, on a personal basis, as honest, upright citizens.  We would trust our car keys to them and access to our homes.  There was no moral equivalence in the actions of the opposing groups at TCF.  Democrats were clearly the ones in violation of all standards of decency and rule of law.  It is disheartening to see state Republican legislators throw their own party members under the bus.

At the very least, election officials should be held responsible for allowing an environment to exist in which so many citizens felt that they were unable to do their legally defined duties without obstruction.  COVID was the convenient cover for inappropriate behavior.  Funny how the concern about COVID and the need for social distancing didn't apply to BLM or Antifa in their "take down racist America" marches last summer.  But the McBroom Report called for no investigation by Attorney General Nessel, just more training for poll challengers!  This is laughable!  How about enforcement of the existing statutes and laws and holding people accountable for their actions or the lack of action on the part of officials?

And so, on it goes.  The McBroom Report left unanswered so many other questions as well.  As noted in the ASOG Antrim forensics report, why were all the server security logs prior to 11:03 P.M. on November 4, 2020, missing?  Server logs prior to November 4 were present.  These logs are important to establish an audit trail.  Why were adjudication log entries all missing for the November 2020 election when they had been present in previous years?  Why was software changed after the election?

When security is breached, no explanation of the final results of an election can be accepted as trustworthy.

The McBroom Report does not pass the smell test in the minds of fair-minded, thoughtful individuals.  As the old adage goes, there are none so blind as those who will not see.  In the words of George Washington, "truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light"  (Letter to Charles M. Thruston, Aug 10, 1794).  Those of us in Michigan will remember the Republican-dominated Senate Oversight Committee come midterm elections.

Image: Ken Lund via Flickr (cropped).

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