How Michigan is protecting your vote during this election


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – State officials are assuring voters that voting is safe and elections are secure.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson appointed an Election Security Advisory Commission in March 2019 to recommend reforms and strategies for ensuring the security of elections in Michigan. Members included local officials, election specialists, and national experts in technology and data security.

Michigan uses multiple security processes to ensure our elections are accurate. Those practices include upgraded voting technology, hiring an election security specialist, and post-election audits.

All voting machines use paper ballots that are not connected to the internet. Paper ballots are the most secure way to conduct elections because they can be audited and recounted, according to the Michigan Department of State.

The Improved Qualified Voter File system is a custom-built system used by the Bureau of Elections and clerks to effectively maintain the state’s registered voter list. The system is continuously monitored and protected.

Michigan’s decentralized elections system helps safeguard against state and even countywide problems.

Automatic voter registration for all citizens who apply for driver’s licenses or IDs helps keep voter rolls up to date.

The Electronic Registration Information Center offers key federal databases to safeguard the integrity of their voter files. The system uses encrypted voter information along with death records from the Social Security Administration to red flag deceased voters. The multistate nonprofit partnership also checks for duplicate voter registrations, voters who move, and eligible voters not yet registered so states can reach out to them.

The state’s first full-time election security specialist is dedicated to coordinating Michigan’s overall election security plan. Public testing of voting machines is conducted prior to each election.

Michigan partners with the Department of Homeland Security and other organizations to attempt to hack the systems in order to identify any vulnerabilities.

The Bureau of Elections has partnered with local election officials and national experts in expanding risk-limiting post-election audits with the goal of a full statewide audit of election results in 2020.

The Office of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson reminds voters that this year they need to be vigilant against scare tactics, misinformation, and false information about the election process, their rights, and the issues at stake.

“These efforts – be they foreign, domestic, partisan, or simply malicious – are designed to sow mistrust in our elections process and are antithetical to a healthy democracy.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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