State Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township, released the following statement Thursday, offering her thoughts on election integrity, election law, and efforts to vet the election process and identify issues that may need to be addressed:
“As a state senator, nothing is more important, and I take nothing more seriously, than my oath to support and defend the constitution of Michigan and that of the United States. “In our representative form of government, ensuring the people have a voice and that it is heard is essential. To that end, having fair and honest elections is paramount.
“The state’s constitution and election laws are clear in that, for a Presidential election, the certified winner of the state’s popular vote is to receive all of the state’s electoral votes. There is no mechanism in our state for the Legislature to overturn that result, reject its certification or otherwise usurp the electoral process.
“However, at the same time, the constitution does allow election results to be challenged and that is handled strictly through the court system. Additionally, the constitution allows for audits to be requested. Across multiple days of testimony, the Senate and House Oversight committees have heard from countless citizens who have made serious claims of election fraud, irregularities and intimidation that may or may not have affected the election outcome. This, in part, is why I co-signed a letter with numerous others formally requesting that an independent forensic audit of the election be conducted.
“I am also committed to working with my colleagues to identify policies that could improve and strengthen our state’s elections process and have met with clerks from throughout Southwest Michigan and received great feedback from them that could help restore the people’s confidence in the integrity of our elections.
“The general election of Nov. 3 was unlike any experienced in decades. However politically charged it may have been, and though there remain unresolved problems that must be addressed, as a state, all of us, no matter our individual political leanings, must be able to trust the integrity and outcome of not only this election, but every election. I won’t rest until we can.”