Report: Hundreds of Michigan Election Clerks Are Unaccredited

Lainie Smith, of Commerce, Aileen Dickson, City Clerk of Troy, Donna Glowacki, of Lake Ori
Rachel Woolf/Getty Images

More than 500 election clerks in Michigan have not been properly accredited to run the state’s elections, according to a recent audit.

“Local election clerks did not meet legal training requirements in 32 counties, 83 cities and 426 townships, a report from the office of Michigan’s auditor general found,” according to the Hill.

Page 19 of Auditor General Doug A. Ringler’s report stated:

We also reviewed other local election officials to determine if any election officials in those areas were fully accredited. We identified 12 counties, 38 cities, and 290 townships where the clerk had not completed the initial accreditation or continuing education training requirements and no other local election official had achieved full accreditation.

Even though the Bureau of Elections (BOE) directly assigned clerks training and continuing education through an online portal and notified them of the required training via weekly newsletters, the BOE does not have the authority to enforce participation.

“We recommend that BOE improve its process to promote accreditation to help ensure that local election officials are fully trained and updated on Michigan’s election process,” the document said.

However, Highland Park City clerk Brenda Green told the Detroit Free Press that she has “done everything the state has asked [her] to do to stay accredited,” stating, “I can’t understand how that information is incorrect.”

“I will be reaching out to them,” Green noted.

Ecorse City clerk Dana Hughes called the auditor general’s findings a “lie” and said she and her deputy have remained compliant and accredited since 2014.

“The audit is a snapshot in time, based on records in May of this year, and it is possible some local clerks and other election officials have received full accreditation since the report was released,” the Press stated.

Friday, Michigan State Department spokesperson Jake Rollow said about 97 percent of clerks had completed the accreditation requirements but added that some areas needed more attention.

“The Bureau has taken steps to address some areas identified in the report, and will continue to make further improvements in 2020 and beyond,” he concluded.


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