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Kalamazoo election officials work to reaffirm voters' trust ahead of May 4 election

A voting booth is pictured in this file photo. (WWMT / FILE){ }
A voting booth is pictured in this file photo. (WWMT / FILE)
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One week away from the May 4, 2021 election, Kalamazoo County officials were doing their part to reaffirm the trust of voters in Michigan.

The Michigan Bureau of Elections released a new report affirming the accuracy and integrity of the November 2020 election.

The bureau reported more than 250 audits took place, the largest number conducted following an election, according to the Michigan Secretary of State office. The audits were conducted by Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan officials.

Kalamazoo County Clerk Meredith Place said the audit summary suggested that the election was fair and free of fraud, but there was room for improvement.

"Moving forward we want to provide the public with more transparency, with the ability to ask questions, to see the results and learn the process," Place said.

Place said the report released showed that early all ballots matched up with voter records, and in the cases that did not match, there were straightforward ways to recount the balance. She said the report reiterated that the 2020 election was fair, secure and reflected the will of Michigan voters.

Peter Weilhouwer, a political science professor at Western Michigan University said one way state leaders could establish voters' trust was by looking at bills that had been submitted by Republicans and balancing them with what the Democrats want.

"I think that once the name-calling stops and the legislation works its way through the problem, and parties act like they have the best interest in the state, then I think that could start to rebuild the trust," Weilhouwer said.

You can read the full audit report on the November 2020 election in Michigan, here.

According to the report, a statewide sample of more than 18,000 ballots was also audited by hand.

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