Though the secretary's office insists that such a process is routine following an election, the GOP says Benson's request that Michigan "delete Electronic Poll Book software and associated files" amid calls for an audit is concerning, to say the least.
The Dec. 1 memo states that said data:
"... must be deleted from all devices by the seventh calendar day following the final canvass and certification of the election (November 30, 2020) unless a petition for recount has been filed and the recount has not been completed, a post-election audit is planned but has not yet been completed, or the deletion of the data has been stayed by an order of the court or the Secretary of State."
A spokesperson from the secretary's office later responded in an email that Benson's request is typical, and that electronic poll book data "is removed after every election to safeguard personal identifying information" about voters.
There are also "paper records" that are "preserved" regardless, this person further wrote, adding that electronic poll book data "is not needed to conduct any reasonable type of audit that could conceivably be requested ... because paper versions of the pollbook are always maintained and used for audits."
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The secretary's office could have left it at that, but instead chose to go on the offense by taking a pot shot at Republicans. All allegations of voter fraud, it contends, "are completely false," despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
According to Benson's employees, Republicans are "choosing to ignore these truths" that there is supposedly no evidence of election fraud. They further contend that Republicans have "no interest in preserving the integrity of our elections or democracy," failing, as Democrats usually do, to correctly identify our nation as a constitutional republic.
These claims clearly demonstrate that Michigan's secretary of state's office is Democrat rather than bipartisan, hence why it took a cheap shot at Republicans. Meanwhile, there is no word from the secretary's office about the state's audit process.
"Secretary Benson's move to request the deletion of election data amidst bipartisan calls for an audit is just another example of her putting partisan politics over what's best for Michigan," says Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox.
According to Cox, there are statewide election irregularities that are "rampant across the state," necessitating a statewide audit "before any election data is deleted."
"Secretary Benson's move to delete this data before an audit raises a serious question, what are the Democrats hiding?" Cox added.
A few weeks back, Benson, a Democrat, indicated that Michigan would soon be carrying out a "risk-limiting audit" of the votes, though there have not been any updates as to the status or progress of this audit.
In an article she wrote for the Detroit Free-Press, Benson indicated that a statewide risk-limiting audit would be "paired with comprehensive local audits." This, she added, is "the most statistically reliable method of evaluating the tabulation of ballots in an election."
"It involves drawing a large random sample of ballots in any given jurisdiction to confirm that, when ballots are visually inspected, the outcomes closely match the results reported by tabulation machines," she further explained, insinuating that the process is foolproof.
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