Kent County canvass sees more attention in contentious election

Elections

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Board of Canvassers officially certified the Nov. 3, 2020, election results Tuesday night, adding another layer of checks and balances the Kent County clerk was proud to show off to an engaged public this election cycle.

“I don’t think I’ve seen a member of the public attend our canvas in any of my previous 12 elections, so this was the first one that the public made sure to engage in, to attend,” Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons told News 8 Wednesday. “I just really appreciated the attention and awareness that is growing with this part of our process because it is so critical to the public trust and confidence in Kent County’s secure, transparent and fair elections.”

Earlier this month, News 8 spoke to a voter who attended one of the first days of canvassing to see how the process works.

For the last two weeks, the bipartisan board reviewed tabulator tapes, poll books and ballots inside the county building in downtown Grand Rapids.

“We have 504 total precincts when you count absentee and in-person precincts here in Kent County,” Posthumus Lyons explained. “So in each of those 504 precincts, we review the election totals from the tapes in the machine with the totals we have reported here in Kent County to make sure those numbers balance out. We also review the poll book with the list of voters to make sure the numbers of voters we have match the number of ballots that were issued. It’s a very thorough and important part of our process and it’s an open process. We’re very transparent.”

Canvassing meetings have always been open to the public, but interest peaked this month after largely baseless fraud claims, misinformation about counting software and writing utensil uneasiness began undermining the election’s integrity.

Posthumus Lyons, a Republican, has worked tirelessly to uphold that integrity.

“We welcomed members of the public to come and observe and watch the process unfold because it’s their election and we think that’s important,” she said.

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