GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Republican Ottawa County clerk spent much of his Wednesday evening not just watching the House Oversight Committee hearing, but also fact-checking in real-time on social media.
“I owe that to the people who put me in office and the people who trust me to run their elections process to provide them with information. That’s certainly what we’ve been trying to do,” Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck told News 8 during a Zoom interview at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night.
You can watch that full interview below.
“There’s a lot of folks involved in this process that don’t necessarily see the administrative side of elections and they don’t understand all of the laws of the state of Michigan and how they apply. And certainly, there are some changes and some positive things, some tweaks that we need to make to the process, but it’s important for people to understand the facts as well. So, to the best of my ability, I was trying to put that out there,” the clerk added.
One claim that’s been repeatedly shared since the election is that workers at the TCF Center in Detroit, which acted as the city’s absentee voter counting board, tabulated multiple ballots several times. Accusations have claimed anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand fake votes were tabulated for President-elect Joe Biden.
“The canvass would definitely catch that and as we know from the canvass, there were some imbalances in many precincts across the state, Detroit not being an exception to that, but the imbalances were not significant,” Roebuck shared. “And again, these are things that are part of a process that election workers who are actually trained and certified to be election workers are trained to do.”
Those who volunteer to be observers or challengers are not given the same training as those tasked with physically tabulating ballots.
“Some of the biggest claims that we’ve been dealing with are the manipulation of vote totals by the system that counts the votes and that really and truly — because we use paper ballots in Michigan and literally almost every state in the country — that can be proven whether or not machines manipulate votes,” Roebuck explained, adding his elections team is about to start routine post-election audits.
During the Wednesday hearing, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said requesting a recount wouldn’t do any good because he believes the paper ballots themselves were falsified.
In Ottawa County and other counties in Michigan, the post-election audits specifically look for vulnerabilities.
“I’m very confident that those vote totals will be accurate,” Roebuck said about the audits scheduled in Ottawa County. “I really believe people deserve an accurate and transparent election process, but they also deserve honesty and I think we have to give people honest facts. We have to get to the bottom of some of these issues and when false and misleading allegations are displayed, we need to confront those allegations and we need to give people honesty because people need to trust the process that they’re using to select their government.”