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The Detroit News LogoWhy do Democrats oppose election audits?

Open, free, and fair elections are an essential part of Democracy, and it is important for people to have faith in our election system for the sake of protecting Democracy as we know it.

That’s why I support an audit of the election results in order to restore faith, and identify weak points, in our election systems.

What concerns me, as a political outsider, is the way that some in the Democrat Party, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, immediately dismiss honest efforts to secure our elections and the clear evidence that voter fraud does exist.

I know how audits can be helpful. I conducted an audit as Chief of Police in Detroit – an environmental audit of the 6th Precinct following concerns of mismanagement and inappropriate behavior. The result of conducting the audit was a net-gain for the precinct, the department and the community as a whole.

Whitmer and the Democrat Party elite strongly oppose a simple audit to verify the election results as reported in 2020. Their argument is basically, “move along, there’s nothing to see here,” when in reality, there are serious examples and ongoing cases of voter fraud in the state of Michigan.

In September of 2019, Southfield City Clerk Sherikia Hawkins was charged with six felony counts over, “unauthorized and inaccurate,” changes to absentee ballots stemming from the previous election in 2018.

Hawkins was alleged to have altered over 190 absentee voter records that came during a 14-day canvass following the election. While some of the charges have been dropped, something clearly occurred that warranted an investigation and charges.

Just this past Monday, an Oak Park, Michigan woman was charged with forgery and voter fraud after attempting to obtain as many as 26 absentee ballots for Michigan residents deemed incapacitated, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Investigators say Nancy Williams, who works for a company that handles legal guardianships, developed and implemented a plan to obtain and control absentee ballots for legally incapacitated persons under her care by fraudulently submitting 26 absentee ballot applications to nine city and township clerks, according to the Attorney General.

She also submitted separate voter registration applications for each of the 26 persons, all without knowledge, consent or understanding of the person under her care, according to investigators.

Just last month, the FBI contacted the Wayne County Clerk’s Campaign Finance Office during the same time they were investigating the offices of multiple City Council members. While the reason for the contact is unknown, this is yet another reason for increased transparency and security of our elections.

In 2005, an FBI investigation was launched in response to allegations that votes were cast in the city of Detroit by names of dead people. The investigation involved Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie’s Project Vote program, in which “ambassadors” went around Detroit to assist senior citizens and disabled people with their absentee ballots. A judge ruled that Currie had been breaking state law in how she handles absentee ballots.

For the reasons stated above, and for the purposes of ensuring the integrity of our elections and transparency, I support election audits. It’s just common sense.

A thorough audit will help voters understand that their vote counted, and their voice matters.

Another step I support is Voter I.D. We need an ID to purchase tobacco, to purchase alcohol and to travel in many cases. It’s not asking for a lot to have individuals identify themselves when voting.

Consider this. Following the 2016 election, it was found that almost one-third of the precincts in Wayne County would be disqualified from a potential statewide recount because of problems with ballots.

Michigan’s largest county couldn’t reconcile vote totals for 610 of 1,680 precincts during a countywide canvass of vote results.

The number is worse once we key in on Detroit, located in Wayne County. In Detroit, the number of ballots in precinct poll books did not match those of voting machine printout reports in 59 percent of precincts, 392 of 662.

Unfortunately, Gov. Whitmer and the Democrat Party are being disingenuous when they paint any attempt at election security as racist or voter suppression.

It reveals who they are and what they’re fighting for.

Whitmer and the Democrat Party elite aren’t fighting for transparency or election security. They’re fighting to maintain power and control. From their perspective, they won with the system’s status quo, so why change anything or look into past elections

That’s why Whitmer just vetoed four pieces of legislation, passed with bi-partisan support, that would’ve taken common sense steps to improve the security of our elections.

The message is clear, particularly from Whitmer, she isn’t interested in actual efforts to secure the vote. She’s focused on doing everything she can to protect her own re-election as her approval ratings plummet.

Michiganders deserve better.

I’m James Craig, and I’m running for Governor.

Conducting an election audit will restore faith in the system. Voter ID is just common sense for elections. Governor Whitmer does not support efforts to secure our elections. Sherikia HawkinsJackie Currie

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