Michigan lawmakers issue subpoenas to Detroit, Livonia clerks

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The Michigan House and Senate oversight committees voted Tuesday to issue subpoenas to clerks in Livonia and Detroit as Republican lawmakers bolstered their push to investigate the Nov. 3 election. 

Under the subpoenas, Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey and Livonia Clerk Susan Nash will have to produce a trove of documents about how they ran their elections by 5 p.m. Jan. 12.

Detroit has been the focus of the attempt by President Donald Trump's campaign to discredit Michigan's election with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Livonia, which is also in Wayne County, had similar rates of out-of-balance precincts compared to Detroit.

Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey, shown here,  and Livonia Clerk Susan Nash will have to produce a trove of documents about how they ran their elections by 5 p.m. Jan. 12.

That means the number of voters tracked in poll books didn't match the number of ballots cast in precincts. The imbalances are usually due to human errors, voters moving and other administration problems.

"We're continuing our due diligence to determine if allegations that were made are true or not," Senate Oversight Chairman Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, said after the meeting.

"We've heard a lot of explanation for how poll books get out of balance," he added. "This level is something that we want to check into."

Members of the Senate Oversight Committee voted 5-0 to approve the subpoenas, with the sole Democrat voting for approval. Members of the House Oversight Committee voted 6-3 with Democrats in opposition.

Republican lawmakers in the Michigan Legislature have held a series of hearings in recent weeks on election integrity after Trump lost the state to President-elect Joe Biden on Nov. 3 and unproven claims of wrongdoing flew.

Biden won Michigan by 154,000 votes. The Board of State Canvassers certified the result on Nov. 23.

cmauger@detroitnews.com