The office of the Michigan secretary of state has told two county clerks that they do not legally have to provide access to voting equipment maintained by their office if ordered to do so by county boards.
“The Board has no authority to require you or any municipal clerk to provide external access to voting equipment maintained by your offices, and neither you nor municipal clerks in Cheboygan County should provide this access,” Jonathan Brater, director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections, told Cheboygan County clerk Karen Brewster in a May 20 letter (see letter below) obtained by The Epoch Times.
Another official from the office of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, sent a similar letter on the same day to the clerk in Antrim County, conveying the view that the board of commissioners there has no authority to require an audit or compel the providing of election records.
Commissioners can seek such records through a freedom of information act request, Lori Bourbonais, director of the Elections Administration Division at the bureau wrote. “However, they have no authority to direct county or local clerks to provide this information, nor are any opinions they have about the manner in which local clerks conduct voting and registration transactions binding on local clerks in any way,” she added.
Brewster and Antrim County clerks were also advised not to grant access to voting equipment to firms not accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
Critics of an ongoing audit of ballots and machines in Arizona’s largest county have noted that the company leading the audit, Cyber Ninjas, lacks accreditation from the commission.
Antrim County’s Board of Commissioners and the county’s clerk were asked at a May 6 board meeting to look into whether or not, and how, an audit of the Nov. 3, 2020 election could be required or requested. The board worked with Guy to ask the Bureau of Elections for answers.