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Lansing Conducts Presidential Election Audit

Ballot auditors photo
Scott Pohl
Auditors have begun examining presidential election ballots in Lansing.

An audit of the 2020 presidential election is being conducted by the Lansing City Clerk’s office.


The task for Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope’s staff was to randomly select 165 ballots from the November election and send the results in for a statewide audit. The totals compiled will be matched against those produced by counting machines to verify the accuracy of President Joe Biden’s win in Michigan.

Chris Swope instructs election auditors photo
Credit Scott Pohl / WKAR/MSU
Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope instructs auditors on the process for examining 2020 presidential election ballots.


Under a 2018 state law, the audit is done after the election is certified. Swope says any error that might turn up will not impact the results. "Other states that are doing these types of audits are doing it before certification," Swope explains, "and if an error is found, they actually correct the results, and I think that’s the better way to do it."

Swope says the ballots are only being checked for the presidential vote. There is no signature or other means of identifying who cast the ballots being examined.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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