Michigan SOS details what happens during election canvassing after ballots are counted

Posted at 4:43 AM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 04:43:33-04

Election results are still coming in across Michigan, and many are actually coming in more slowly as 65 of Michigan's 83 counties are reporting modem issues.

On Tuesday night, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson detailed the next steps after the election and after the unofficial results are released. She said that election officials will then shift their focus to election canvassing.

"This is the process whereby they review all election processes, procedures and results to confirm the accuracy and proper protocols that were followed today and throughout the election cycle and correct any clerical errors," Benson said during her 9 p.m. update on Tuesday.

According to Benson, the work is overseen by a bipartisan board of county canvassers who are appointed by political parties. Their job is to conduct any recounts and then certify any results.

Once that is done, the Board of State Canvassers will conduct its own review and then vote to certify the findings, which become the final and official results.

You may remember that in 2020, Republican officials asked the board to delay certifying the results, and then-President Donald Trump even reached out Wayne County canvassers with baseless claims that the election was stolen.

Benson said that she wants to remind everyone that during the canvassing process, it's common for vote tallies to change slightly from the unofficial results.

"This may happen for example when provisional ballots are confirmed valid and then counted," she said. "In past elections, specifically in 2020, we’ve seen individuals with political agendas try to mislead the public by saying any change or alteration is evidence of wrongdoing. That is simply not true."

Benson said that instead, it's evidence of the hard work county clerks and other election staff are doing to make sure the elections are secure.

"It is in fact evidence that our election system is tremendously robust and has checks and balances built in to identify and correct any issues before results are finalized and certified," Benson said.

Finally, Benson said that some county clerks will also conduct voluntary post-election audits. The Bureau of Elections will support them, and help them identify best practices to be shared with clerks all across the state.

"I want to assure you that the counting and canvassing processes in this election will be carried out as they are in every election, in accordance with the law. Their ballots will be counted and the ultimate results will be an accurate, full reflection of the will of the people of Michigan," Benson said.