A months-long investigation of Republican-led claims of election fraud by a Republican-led Senate Committee concluded claims of a Big Lie in Michigan were not only false, but nefarious — and suggest the state’s attorney general investigate those who made false claims for “personal gain.”
The report found:
- No proof of dead voters or “fractional voting”
- No evidence of a fraudulent “ballot dump” in Detroit
- No proof any Michigan precincts had more than 100 percent voter turnout
- No Dominion voting machines were connected to the internet or “manipulated” in rural Antrim County
- No unsolicited absentee ballots were mailed out
Sen. Edward McBroom, the Republican chair of the oversight committee, said there is “good reason” to conclude that conspiracy theorists are “purposely defrauding people” of their money. He cited an attorney named Matt DePerno, who has been promoted by Pillow Guy Mike Lindell as an election conspiracy expert. DePerno has raised over $320,000 for a defense fund.
But “the committee closely followed Mr. DePerno’s efforts and can confidently conclude they are demonstrably false and based on misleading information and illogical conclusions.”
The office of Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel is reviewing the Republican-led report to “determine if a criminal investigation is appropriate.”
The Republican report also found “genuine problems” with Michigan election law that policy makers should fix, even if there is no evidence those “problems created a bad vote.”
“Citizens should demand reasonable updates and reforms to close real vulnerabilities and unlawful activities that caused much of the doubt and questionability to flourish and could, if unchecked, be responsible for serious and disastrous fraud or confusion in the future.”
The following “problems” should be addressed:
- Secretary of State should not send unsolicited ballot applications because forged illegal ballots could not be detected
- new training requirements for poll watchers and poll challengers, citing “confusion, fear, misunderstanding, and even chaos” at the TCF Center in Detroit
Nowhere in the report was there any mention of the Big Lie’s loudest mouthpiece, Donald Trump. On May 7, Trump said, “Has the Michigan State Senate started their review of the Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 yet, or are they about to start? If not, they should be run out of office.”
Michigan Republicans are actively passing proposals to expand voter ID requirements for both absentee and in-person ballots. One of those bills would require an absentee voter to provide their driver’s license number, official state identification number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. Alternatively, under the legislation, they could also attach or present a copy of identification when they submit their applications.
Democrats argue the measures open voters to actual fraud. “All this bill does is make a political statement to somebody’s base and increase the likelihood of identity theft in our state. In what world do you believe that citizens want to give their Social Security numbers in order to vote?” said one East Lansing Democrat.