State Senator Blasts Bill Stripping Power to Investigate Elections from Board of Canvassers


Legislation passed in the Michigan House and Senate would upset ballot recount procedures in the state’s elections, shifting the power from the Board of State Canvassers to “hyper-partisan” county prosecutors.

Introduced in October of last year, Senate Bills 603 and 604 made their way through the Senate and House before being returned to the upper chamber and approved Tuesday.

Republican state Senator Jim Runestad issued a fiery rebuke to the measure, warning of its potential to shake the foundations of election security in Michigan.

“The current law regarding the Board of Canvassers is very clear,” Runestad said.

“I’m not going to take the time to read every section out of the law currently, but it’s very, very clear that a case of a recount, if somebody suspects fraud, they are able to bring that to the Board of Canvassers. The Board of Canvassers are permitted to investigate fraud.”

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“They also have currently the ability to subpoena,” he continued. “They have subpoena power.”

Runestad said Senate Bill 603 would remove this power from the board.

The legislation would be a “big change” to the way elections are currently secured in Michigan.

“What they put in instead is, ‘well, if you suspect fraud, turn it over to the hyper-partisan attorney general,'” Runestad said.

Will this new legislation make elections in the state less secure?

“Oh, I’m sure if it’s a Republican making that claim it’s going to get a thorough investigation — or turn it over to the hyper-partisan Democrat prosecutors within the big cities, where the majority of the votes are.”

Runestad doubted the liberal prosecutors would be pursuing investigations of electoral fraud from conservatives.

In response to assertions that the Board of Canvassers’ power went unused, the senator said this authority was used in the last two major elections.

“First in 2016,” Runestad said, “I believe in Detroit, it was 72 percent of the precincts couldn’t be recounted, mostly for an overcount, for a whole series of issues — broken-open ballot boxes — so we gave them more time and money.”

“And what happened in 2020? It went from, I believe, the 72 percent to 79 percent.”

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Runestad claimed members of the county boards were threatened and harassed with a “tsunami” of death threats once they began probing the electoral issues.

Watch Runestad’s full comments below.

“Of all of the death threats that I’ve heard around,” he said, “the absolute worst I have ever heard was against that Wayne County Board of Canvassers, a female who was doxed, her daughter was doxed.”

“They sent horrific things to the mother,” Runestad claimed, including an image of a “murdered little girl” with a threat directed toward the board member’s own young daughter, promising the same for her if the vote didn’t go a certain way.

Runestad called it an “outrage” that the bills passed.


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Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard and is a husband, dad and aspiring farmer.
Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He is a husband, dad, and aspiring farmer. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard. If he's not with his wife and son, then he's either shooting guns or working on his motorcycle.
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