Macomb County's election audit finds 'no outside interference'
A forensic audit of election technology in Michigan's third largest county found "no outside interference," Republican Macomb County Clerk Anthony Forlini revealed Thursday.
The examination and report from Alabama-based Pro V&V, a company that tests voting systems, further rebuts conspiracy theories by some supporters of former President Donald Trump that election equipment in the battleground state was hacked during the 2020 election.
"As a result of the audit dated January 5, 2022, we learned that there was no outside interference in our election server, our election software, as well as our modem communication systems," Forlini wrote in a letter released Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
"This was just one step to restore confidence in the election process," the clerk added.
Forlini, a former state representative who was elected clerk in 2020, contracted with Pro V&V for the forensic audit, in part, to examine the technology and components used to operate the county's election management system and perform post-election results processing.
The GOP clerk said he wanted to ensure the hardware and software Macomb County used to administer elections was sound, he has said previously.
On Thursday, Forlini said the audit was further proof that Trump won Macomb County. Trump beat Biden 53%-45% in Macomb County in 2020, making it the largest Michigan county he won.
According to the eight-page forensic audit report, the company ran antivirus scans of components and conducted a manual examination of the election systems, finding "no instance of malicious software" on "any of the devices."
Pro V&V also found "no evidence of malicious internet connectivity." In addition, the company studied the file system activity on the equipment finding "no evidence of malicious or unexpected activity."
Statewide, Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump by 154,000 votes or 3 percentage points, a result that's been upheld by a series of court rulings, more than 200 past audits and an investigation by the GOP-controlled state Senate Oversight Committee.
However, the former president has continued to claim the election was stolen from him. And Trump supporters have launched a petition campaign for what they're describing as a forensic audit of Michigan's 2020 vote statewide.
Forlini has said he has no reason to doubt the results in Macomb County, but he wanted "to establish all the best practices for good, clean elections." The audit was expected to cost the clerk's office about $16,000.
Forlini said he plans to take steps to "improve the overall integrity" of the election system, including requiring local clerks to physically bring in tabulator memory sticks to avoid the possibility of modem vulnerabilities.
Staff Writer Carol Thompson contributed.