LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope held a news conference this morning, responding to GOP allegations, that ballot drop boxes were left unlocked in the city.
According to a press release from the Michigan Republican Party, the video below was taken two weeks ago, and shows an individual walk up to an unlocked ballot drop box outside the Foster Community Center in Lansing, and open it.
Swope tells 6 News, that was “before ballots were sent out”, and the envelope seen inside the box “was not an actual ballot”.
Republicans also made accusations about a second video also shown below, of an election worker, struggling to properly close and secure an election dropbox.
To that, Swope responded by saying “she is an official election worker”, and the video doesn’t show the box wasn’t secure when she was finished.
Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox issued the following statement when making the accusation:
“I am outraged at the complete negligence shown by the Lansing City Clerk’s office and Jocelyn Benson. This is evidence that our election system has potentially been compromised.”
“I am calling on Secretary Benson to launch a full investigation into this incident, to determine if any ballots were stolen or tampered with, and to ensure this never happens again. I stand with President Trump in his fight for the free, fair election Michiganders, and all Americans, deserve.”Laura Cox, Michigan Republican Party Chairman
The office of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued this statement in response:
“Ballot drop boxes have been securely locked since ballots were available. The Michigan Republican Party’s press release states that their video was shot two weeks ago (September 23), before absentee ballots were even mailed to voters, and the envelope in the video is clearly not a ballot envelope. The claim there were ‘ballots inside’ is easily disproven by their own video. By sharing blatantly false statements in the press release, they are irresponsibly spreading misinformation likely intended to suppress voting among Michigan citizens. We have referred this matter to the Attorney General for investigation as election misinformation.”Jake Rollow, Michigan Department of State spokesperson
Election Security has been at the forefront of the November Election, with President Trump questioning methods across the country.
A record number of Michigan residents have made the decision to vote by mail in this year’s Presidential Election.