Michigan officials still fighting spread of misinformation ahead of August primary election

Officials still fighting beliefs of election fraud, insecurity after 2020 presidential election

Michigan officials still fighting spread of misinformation ahead of Aug. primary

DETROIT – Michigan voters will soon be heading to the polls once again for the August primary election, and the secretary of state says the election is taking place as her office tries to fight the spread of misinformation.

On Aug. 3, 54 Michigan counties will hold primary elections and the city of Detroit has a major proposal on the ballot. But election officials are still beating back unfounded claims of election fraud or cheating from the 2020 presidential election, making their jobs much harder.

“I think it’s a little disconcerting that here we are in July of 2021 and we’re still having this debate, despite all of the evidence being on one side of the scale, demonstrating our secure election,” said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Benson says the greatest challenge right now is rampant misinformation that is urging some to push for ways to overturn an election or undo results, similar to the claims made by attorneys in the so called “Kraken lawsuit.” Those attorneys are now facing sanctions in a Michigan federal court.

More: Lawyers behind Michigan election fraud lawsuit face sanctions

“I think we see those who are trying to go down this path, look at every possible avenue, whether it’s collecting signatures from a small number of registered voters and using that to overturn, not just statewide officials’ positions, but also the will of the majority of voters,” Benson said.

And the problem doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

“I actually do think this is going to go through 2024 or potentially beyond, in part because some bad actors have created a cottage industry of spreading misinformation; it’s become profitable,” Benson said.

Related: Michigan AG to probe people making money off election claims

But the Michigan secretary of state says voters can step up and ensure the security of their vote, too, by tracking their votes and make sure they fill out, file and vote the right way.

“The name of the game is vigilance, especially in times like these,” Benson said. “We’re working hard, we need voters to similarly work hard to make sure that all the pieces come together, their votes count and their voices are heard.”

Benson’s office is also encouraging those voting absentee to drop off their absent voter ballots at their local clerk’s office or a drop box right away to avoid mail delays.

Read: Michigan SOS: Absentee ballots for Aug. 3 election should be returned in person, by drop box

More: Aug. 3, 2021 Michigan Primary: List of elections by county

About the Author:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.