More than 500 local election officials in Michigan are unaccredited: audit

More than 500 local election officials in Michigan are unaccredited: audit
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Hundreds of counties, cities and towns in Michigan do not have election clerks who are accredited to run elections, an audit released Friday has found. 

Local election clerks did not meet legal training requirements in 32 counties, 83 cities and 426 townships, a report from the office of Michigan's auditor general found. 

The auditor general's review also identified 12 counties, 38 cities and 290 townships in which the clerk did not meet the requirements and no other official had gotten full accreditation either. 

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Local clerks are required by state law to participate in accreditation courses and take continuing education courses every two years. The auditor general's report was based on a list from May of this year. 

The report recommended that the state's Bureau of Elections (BOE) "improve its process to promote accreditation to help ensure that local election officials are fully trained and updated on Michigan's election process."

In response, the BOE said that it would increase its communications with local officials so that "all understand and comply with mandated training requirements," and that it would target those who have not completed training requirements.

It also noted that the main issue was with continuing education and that the participation level in its initial accreditation program is "extremely high."

Jake Rollow, a spokesperson for Michigan's State Department, told The Hill in a text message Friday that approximately 97 percent of clerks had completed the initial accreditation requirements, according to current data.

"The Bureau has taken steps to address some areas identified in the report, and will continue to make further improvements in 2020 and beyond," Rollow said. 

Updated: 10:15 p.m.