“Michigan secretary of state: Attempts to block election certification will be ‘futile'”

Detroit News:

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office will not tolerate any effort to obstruct the certification of Tuesday’s primary election based on “partisan games” or “baseless lies.”

“Any attempts to block the certification of our elections, regardless of the results, will be futile,” Benson said during an interview with The Detroit News. “We are confident that the courts will swiftly enforce the law and that at the end of the day, the will of the people will stand.”

Benson, a Democrat, made the comments just days before the first statewide vote since November 2020, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump attempted to overturn Michigan’s results based on unproven claims of widespread fraud.

About 5.5 million ballots were cast in Michigan’s November 2020 presidential election. In the last gubernatorial primary in August 2018, about 2.1 million voters participated when there were contested Republican and Democratic primaries for governor.Benson said turnout in Tuesday’s primary, which features a hotly contested five-candidate GOP primary for governor, might generate somewhere from about 2 million to 2.5 million voters.

As of July 25, 589,813 absentee ballots had been returned statewide, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

“We’re ready for anything at this point,” Benson said.

Benson and election officials from Wayne to Antrim counties have faced intense scrutiny since the November 2020 election when Trump, a Republican, lost Michigan to Democrat Joe Biden by 154,000 votes or 3 percentage points.

In the 20 months since that election, Republican Party leaders in the battleground state have replaced incumbent GOP members of county canvassing boards — the panels in charge of certifying results — in multiple counties. The Detroit News first reported the trend in October.

The changes have prompted some to worry that newly appointed members of canvassing boards who agree with Trump’s claims of past election fraud could attempt to deny certification on the local level.

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