Oversight committee call for election hearing to address reports of fraud

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 5:36 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and Kent County Clerk Lisa Lyons testified in front of lawmakers on Thursday and answered their questions for a few hours.

The House and Senate Oversight Committee called on the leaders of Antim County, Kent County and Ingham County elections to examine how the election went and address reports of fraud.

Byrum, who is a Democrat, was interrupted with laughs and boos a number of times by some Trump supporters in the audience.

There were more people who were not satisfied.

In fact, one woman came forward with a wheelbarrow full of letters. She was unhappy that the hearing didn’t include public comment like any typical city council meeting would.

Both clerks said there were some mistakes, but said they were due to human error and not a conspiracy.

A number of precincts in each county were considered unbalanced, which happens when the number of votes counted does not align with the number of ballots cast and the number of votes recorded.

But that happens in almost every election.

Lisa Lyons, a Republican, says there was not widespread fraud.

”And you’ll hear a lot of questions from you, or the public, and there’s so much closing election noise coming from all sides. But the most important thing I want to discuss today is that elections and voting are secure, transparent, and fair. I want you to be clear that my comments do not speak for election operations and other colleagues or students that they do speak with confidence, or faith that our process in Michigan, or the law,” Lyons said.

“This was a woefully legitimate election and the people of Michigan should rest easy knowing that their votes were counted and voices heard,” said Lyons.

Here is specifically what Clerk Barb Byrum had to say:

“You will hear from an accounting clerk today about an incomplete tabulator programming update that led to results being incorrectly updated and reported. After a need to correct a balance, and to add a candidate. The tabulator to read the balance properly, but did not correctly communicate with the results accumulation software at the county level.

You are no doubt aware of the human error in another location that led to the internet speculates that president elect Biden had mysteriously gained 150,000 votes in an instant. These were errors that were identified and corrected immediately. Our system is built to uncover and rectify these problems.”

They also insist and want the public to take comfort that those issues were addressed and unrelated to the accuracy of results.

“We know what we need to do better. We need the tools and funding to do that,” Byrum said. “Know more that can be done to secure security, improve election technology, invest more local level for technology and training.”

Byrum additionally submitted this statement to News 10:

“The November Presidential Election required the hard work of 83 County Clerks, over 1500 municipal clerks and thousands of others. We carried out the election under difficult circumstances; we were forced to rethink how an election can be conducted while limiting exposure to a deadly disease. I spoke before the Committee today to testify that despite the seeds of doubt that have been sown by the President and his supporters in dark corners of the internet, this election ran smoothly and was both safe and secure.

I testified to inform the legislators of the checks and balances that already exist in our Election law to protect us from the kind of malfeasance that the President is alleging and to offer some actual solutions that would satisfy actual concerns that professional elections administrators, like myself, have about conducting our elections.”

The takeaway: clerks across the state have faith in the security of the elections.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a very detailed and procedural process.

Democratic Clerk Barb Byrum and Republican Clerk Lisa Lyons say there was not widespread fraud dispute numerous reports which could not be confirmed. They say this is truly a battle of people trusting what is true and fact.

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