LANSING — Today, extremists will descend on the State Capitol grounds to demand a “forensic audit.” This is the latest chapter of a lengthy crusade to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 general election – an issue that has remained the singular focus of the Republican party since last November.
The 12 gubernatorial candidates that currently make up the crowded Republican primary field have all either voiced support for an audit, echoed conspiratorial claims that Trump had a second term stolen, or thrown their support behind any legislation that will make it harder for all Michiganders to vote.
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“Once again, Michigan Republicans are staging a collective exercise in conspiracy that remains as devoid of fact or reason as it was last November. Their rabid obsession with re-litigating 2020 has come to define the party in its entirety – and all 12 gubernatorial candidates have shown they are more than happy to validate their extreme demands and fan bold-faced lies about our electoral process. The only thing today’s rally will show Michiganders is that this crowded gubernatorial field’s values are corroded beyond repair at the expense of a functioning democracy.”
See excerpts below from MLive as each candidate discussed the extent of their belief that voter fraud reversed the results of the 2020 election and read the field’s full answers here.
James Craig: I certainly wouldn’t be against some type of forensic audit or investigative work that’s conducted in a bipartisan way to make sure that those who feel very strongly that there’s fraud, I do have a strong opinion that I believe that this is not voter suppression, but certainly I do feel strongly that identification should be provided when you go to vote.
Garrett Soldano: I think a lot of Americans when they went to bed that night, they saw a different outcome than when we woke up, and that’s why I’m for a full forensic audit. Because we just want the truth, no matter if it proves that the election was stolen or not, let us know the truth so we can restore voter integrity.
Tudor Dixon: I believe that there was voter fraud. We see that there is voter fraud in most elections […] It’s very important for people to get [Secure MI Vote] petitions, sign those petitions, so that we can have common sense regulations in our voting process like no absentee ballot applications to every home, that you have to ask for an absentee ballot application, and that we need voter ID […]
Kevin Rinke: I’ll tell you that there were certainly election integrity problems that need to be addressed to preserve our Republic, and, and to preserve the confidence in elections that’s required to preserve our republic. […] If that requires audits or forensic audits of voting rules to make sure that that occurs and changes to the election system that ensure access and integrity to the vote, that’s what I’ll provide.
Ryan Kelley: I do believe that the 2020 election was a disrespect to our Constitutional Republic. I do believe it was fraudulent. [Kelley also responded “Oh I do, yes” to the question of if he thinks Trump would have won the 2020 election absent fraud.]
Evan Space: I think that if there was no voter fraud or anything like that, I think that there might have been a change to the election and that Trump might have won, yes. I mean there was, we have so much discrepancy to talk about in this last election. It’s kind of sketchy. So yes, I do believe that there could have been a different outcome and Trump could have won.
Bob Scott: If you’re not out there fighting against election fraud, you’re fighting the wrong battle.
Articia Bomer: Yes, election fraud did happen, how much I don’t know. But whatever is going on is has been going on for years. […] Yeah, election fraud happened on a wide enough scale that it could have overturned the elections. I do believe that President Trump should be the President right now.
Ralph Rebandt: Was there voter fraud? Yes. Was there a chain of custody breakdowns? absolutely. I saw ballots that were dated for January 1, 1900. That means the person voting would have been 120 years old but because those ballots were picked out so fast, people weren’t really paying attention to what was going on. And those are the things… not to mention the machines, I’m really concerned about the machines. I’m not a tech guy, but I know people who are that I deeply respect and trust, and I see that as a huge issue.
Austin Chenge: I made it one of my number one policies on day one to cancel the contract that we have with Dominion… regardless of their arguments. […] people have a legitimate reason to question the results of an election. And you can’t turn around and deny them that because if people suspect that there is fraud, then audit. Audit the vote.
Donna Brandenburg: I would say that there’s an awful lot in question right now, there’s an awful lot in question, because chain of command was not followed. There’s so many questions about the mail-in votes, such that I believe that all of that really needs to be seriously evaluated and weighed and we have to stick to the truth, not just what somebody’s opinion is.
Mike Brown: I know there’s people looking into voter fraud in different areas. I support them looking into that to make sure we have a safe and secure election. […] We need a safe and secure and a confident election in Michigan, and we have a pretty large segment of the population in Michigan and nationally that have lost confidence in elections.