by WorldTribune Staff, December 4, 2020
Republicans on Friday raised concerns over a memo sent by the office of Michigan’s Democrat secretary of state which called for “pushing for the mass deletion of election data.”
Republicans said that Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office told clerks in Michigan counties to “delete Electronic Poll Book software and associated files” amid calls to audit the election.
A Dec. 1 memo from the Michigan Bureau of Elections, which is overseen by Benson’s office, states: “[Electronic Poll Book] software and associated files 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.”
The memo was referring to Electronic Poll Book software and files contained on laptops and USB drives used during the election.
“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,” Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox said in a statement Friday.
Cox added: “With election irregularities rampant across the state, it is vital that we have this 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?”
This week, several witnesses, including a poll worker in Detroit and GOP poll challengers, testified in front of a Michigan State Legislature hearing, alleging improprieties and fraud were rampant at the Detroit counting facility. President Donald Trump’s team, citing the Constitution, argued that the legislature should vote to call up their own electors to the Electoral College.
In other developments:
A witness brought forward by the Trump campaign in its election contest alleged that the memory disks used to store vote totals from election machines during the early vote period had the vote tallies inexplicably changed overnight, according to a presentation at an evidentiary hearing in Carson City on Dec. 3.
According to Jesse Binnall, who presented the evidence on behalf of the Trump campaign, the witness, whose name is shielded by a protective order, said that the vote tallies were collected from the machine at the end of every voting day and stored on Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives overnight.
“What they would do is they would log these disks in and out. Good practice. And the disks had a serial number on them. And numerous times that disk would be logged out with one vote total on it and logged back in the next morning during the early vote period with a different number on it. Sometimes more, sometimes less,” Binnall said.
“What that means is that literally in the dead of night, votes were appearing, and books are disappearing on these machines.”
Binnall said that the USB drives were not encrypted and the voting machines were not password protected. “And they were hooked up with laptops, then where the laptops themselves could have been compromised.”
The Trump campaign on Dec. 3 filed a series of affidavits and declarations in support of a lawsuit brought by President Donald Trump on Dec. 2 against election officials and leaders in Wisconsin, alleging “unlawful and unconstitutional” acts and asking the court to forward the matter to the state legislature, The Epoch Times reported.
“At the heart of each violation of the Wisconsin Election Code described in this Complaint was the purposeful disregard of thoughtful legislative safeguards meant to prevent absentee ballot fraud and to promote uniform treatment of absentee ballots throughout the State,” the complaint states.
The complaint makes five key allegations: that elections officials ignored or compromised state law limits on the availability of mail-in balloting for people who were reasonably able to cast in-person ballots; that they allowed for the proliferation of unmanned mail-in ballot drop boxes, making it easier to engage in ballot harvesting and other forms of mail-in ballot fraud; that vast numbers of mail-in ballots were processed and counted outside of the visibility of poll watchers; that there was a reduction or outright elimination of mandatory voter information certifications for mail-in ballots, reducing the integrity and security of the election; and that “ballot tampering” was permitted, namely that election workers were allowed to alter the certification of the voter or witness on mail-in ballots, which undermined the uniform treatment of absentee ballots in Wisconsin.