Dem-Controlled Michigan Senate Passes Bill Banning Bipartisan Election Boards From Investigating Voter Fraud
LANSING, MICHIGAN - APRIL 01: A man crosses the street in front of the state capital building in downtown Lansing on April 01, 2024 in Lansing, Michigan. According to recent state employment data projections, the number of jobs in Michigan is not expected grow over the next seven years as the state struggles with population growth and an auto industry facing challenges. In population growth, Michigan ranks 49th in the country ahead of only West Virginia.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Michigan Democrat-controlled Senate passed a bill earlier this week that would ban bipartisan election boards from investigating voter fraud and make it more difficult — in some circumstances — to start a recount.

The legislation, Senate Bill 603, was passed along party lines on Tuesday and drew harsh criticism from Republican state lawmakers, who say that if the bill becomes law, “there’s nothing that can be done” if a board of state canvassers sees or suspects election fraud, Bridge Michigan reported. Democrats, however, argue that voter fraud investigations should be handled by law enforcement.

“We’ve got other areas of law that talk about fraud, that talk about tampering, but when we’re talking about a recount … let’s make sure that what we’re talking about with a recount is the actual re-tally of the votes,” said Democratic state Sen. Stephanie Chang, who introduced the bill.

Currently, state boards of canvassers — made up of two Democrats and two Republicans — have the authority to investigate suspected voter fraud or ballot tampering.

“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,” said Republican state Sen. Ruth Johnson, who previously served as Michigan’s Secretary of State. “These are time-honored checks and balances that exist in our system.”

“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,” Johnson added. “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.”

Along with preventing boards of canvassers from looking into potential election fraud, the state Senate bill would also increase the cost of a recount to between $250 and $500, Bridge Michigan reported. Candidates are required to pay the amount if they request a recount but are refunded if the election result changes after a recount.

Additionally, the bill would change the automatic recount threshold from a 2,000-vote difference to a 0.1% difference, which in the 2022 Michigan gubernatorial race would have been 4,391 votes, according to Bridge Michigan. If passed into law, the state Senate legislation would allow for a recount in a precinct where the poll book doesn’t balance with the total number of votes counted, an issue that has been especially prevalent in Detroit precincts in recent elections.


Republican state Sen. Jim Runestad took his criticism of legislation further, saying it would essentially “sanction the potential legal ability to cheat on elections in Michigan,” The Midwesterner reported.

“Michigan Democrats are terrified Biden will implode and drag them down,” Runestad added. “So today they bet the bank and went all out to codify election fraud into state statute with SB 603.”

Michigan is a major battleground state in the upcoming 2024 election, where residents will vote for president and for a candidate to fill outgoing Democratic Sen. Debbi Stabenow’s seat. President Joe Biden took the state by more than 154,000 votes in 2020 after former President Donald Trump won the state by just 10,000 votes against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Dem-Controlled Michigan Senate Passes Bill Banning Bipartisan Election Boards From Investigating Voter Fraud