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Legislature in a Battleground State Calls an Emergency Session Over Voting Irregularities

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The Michigan Legislature on Saturday held a joint hearing of the House and Senate Oversight Committees, a rare occurrence. The session was called after reports of potential fraud taking place in the presidential election. One of the main ones was a software glitch that caused 6,000 votes in Antrim County to be incorrectly counted for Joe Biden. Once the a hand-count had taken place, those 6,000 votes went to President Trump. The Michigan Secretary of State, however, has said that this was "human error," not a "software glitch."

Regardless of the cause, the Republican-led legislature wanted answers.

“Every single legal vote needs to be counted, regardless of who cast it or who they voted for. And then the candidate who wins the most of those votes will win Michigan’s electoral votes, just like it always has been. Nothing about that process will change in 2020,” Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) said in a statement.

“America’s democracy is sacred, and safe and secure elections are how we protect it. That is why the House and Senate oversight committees will begin hearings soon looking into the voting and counting process in our state to give everyone confidence in the results and to make sure the next election runs much more smoothly," Chatfield said. "The people of Michigan deserve peace of mind, and we are going to provide it.”

The legislature ended up slapping state election officials with a subpoena for documents related to the state's election process, the Detroit Free Press reported.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Matt Hall (R-Marshall) said the investigation was necessary so Michiganders have confidence in the state's election processes. 

“I have gotten hundreds of calls and emails from people in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties who say they have no faith in our election system based on what they have seen since Tuesday," Hall said. "People have seen news reports of challengers being denied access to polling locations. They see windows being covered up to prevent people from watching ballots be examined and tabulated. Software errors have mistakenly awarded votes to a candidate. These instances and images have led to controversy, confusion and frustration — and it certainly is not a model of transparency."

The House's Democratic Leader, Christine Greig, thought the entire investigation was unnecessary.

“Today’s partisan spectacle is nothing by a desperate attempt by Republican legislators to cast a shadow of doubt over the legitimacy of our election. It’s yet another political stunt designed to undermine confidence in our electoral process and disenfranchise voters who legally cast their ballots in record numbers," Greig said in a statement. “From frivolous lawsuits to serial press conferences heavy on vitriol and devoid of evidence, this latest political antic is not only outrageous but un-American as it disrespects the brave men and women who fought and died for the right to vote and have their voice heard.

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