Johnson blasts bills that strip ability to investigate election fraud during recounts

Johnson blasts bills that strip ability to investigate election fraud during recounts

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, who served as Michigan’s secretary of state from 2011 to 2018, issued the following statement after voting against Senate Bills 603 and 604, which would remove alleged fraud as a reason to request a recount of election results:

“Senate Bill 603 ends the ability of local officials to investigate potential fraud, illegal activity, or even ballot tampering during a recount by deleting current provisions in Michigan election law that give this authority to bipartisan county boards of canvassers. These are time-honored checks and balances that exist in our system. Boards of canvassers by definition are bipartisan, with two Democrat and two Republican members, to provide fairness in oversight of our elections.

“The point of a recount is to ensure the results of an election are correct and accurate and to give people confidence in those results. Right now, Michigan has 104.5% of our state’s voting-age population registered to vote. No photo ID is required to vote. We have no system to tell if someone votes in multiple states and the current secretary of state failed to remove 170,000 names from the voting rolls of people who no longer lived in the state until after she was sued.

“If we want people to have faith in the electoral process, we should not be taking away people’s rights to have allegations of election fraud investigated during a recount. There is a process in place now that empowers bipartisan boards of canvassers to play this role, and it simply should not be removed from the law.”


Editor’s note: Video of Johnson’s Senate floor remarks opposing the final passage of SBs 603 and 604 will be available online at

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