10/9/20 – Election Security

As we get closer to Election Day, some voters have voiced concerns about election security.  Many states, including Michigan, have taken extra measures to make sure your vote will be secure.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says there have been many false claims about voting absentee.   She reminds us that we have several voting options and extra measure have been taken to make sure the process is safe and secure.

          Security best practices:
Michigan has adopted many national best practices to strengthen our system and
ensure our elections are accurate and secure:
Upgraded voting technology
– All voting machines are next generation optical scan machines, which use paper
ballots scanned through electronic tabulators and are not connected to internet.
– Important safeguard: Paper ballots are retained and can be reviewed and
-There is no evidence voting machines in Michigan have ever been compromised
or that votes have been changed.

Improved Qualified Voter File system (QVF)
-The QVF is a modern, custom built system used by Bureau of Elections and
clerks to efficiently and effectively maintain the state’s registered voter list.
– It has enhanced security built in and utilizes multi-factor authentication.
– The system is continuously monitored and protected.
– Automatic voter registration for all citizens who apply for driver’s licenses or IDs
and an online voter registration system help keep voter rolls up to date with
reliable, voter-provided information.


Joined the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)
-ERIC is a nonprofit, multistate partnership that offers states key federal
databases and the use of sophisticated and secure data-matching technology to
safeguard the integrity of their voter files.
– The system uses encrypted voter information from partnering
states along with death records from the Social Security
Administration to red flag deceased voters, duplicate
voter registrations, voters who move, and eligible voters
not yet registered so states can reach out to them.
-Until joining ERIC, Michigan had no system in place to
verify the accuracy of its voter file against those of other

    Expanded risk-limiting post-election audits
– The Bureau of Elections has partnered with local election officials and national
experts in expanding risk-limiting post-election audits with the goal of a full
statewide audit of election results in 2020.
– Risk-limiting audits are the preeminent method for confirming election results
and use statistical methods to perform a comprehensive check on the accuracy
of reported election results and to detect any anomalies, possibly tied to human
error or manipulation.
– Using a mathematical formula, auditors in each locality randomly select ballots
to confirm that the ballot tabulators correctly tallied election results.

Hired full-time election security specialist
– The election security specialist is dedicated to coordinating Michigan’s overall
election security plan.
– The specialist also works with state and federal partners to assess, train and
communicate with our local election officials on election security best practices.
– Improved cooperation among local, state and federal governments
– Michigan partners with the Department of Homeland Security and other
organizations to attempt to hack our systems in order to identify and remedy
any vulnerabilities.
– The Bureau of Elections is also partnering with DHS, Michigan Cyber Command
and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget on county-by-county election assessments, which provide recommendations to counties, and
virtual workshops on election security for election officials.


Continued other long-standing accuracy and integrity practices
– Michigan’s decentralized elections system that is primarily administered by
more than 1,500 local clerks helps safeguard against state and even countywide problems, as errors or breakdowns can be confined often to local
– A detailed and thorough canvassing and certification process is followed at the
county level, for each individual precinct.
– Public testing of voting machines is conducted prior to each election.
– Election precincts are open to the public for observation
– Performance-based audits are conducted to verify completion of election tasks.


Learn more at Michigan.gov/ElectionSecurity