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tv   Campaign 2020 Michigan Secretary of State Benson Election Update  CSPAN  November 5, 2020 6:18am-6:37am EST

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announcer: c-span's washington journal." every day we discussed policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, your reaction to campaign 2020 election results. join the conversation all morning with your phone calls, facebook comments, text book messages, and tweets. watch at 7:00 eastern this morning. statean secretary of jocelyn benson gave an update on the election results and took a few questions from reporters. the associated press has declared joe biden the winner in michigan, but the trump campaign is pursuing legal action over the state's handling of ballast. this runs about 20 minutes. -- handling of ballots. this runs about 20 minutes. sec. benson: good evening. i'm proud to stand before you today to announce the results of
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our election in michigan. for nearly six weeks, from the moment voters began voting six weeks ago, the moment the polls closed at 8:00 p.m. on tuesday night, a record number of michigan citizens turned out to cast their votes and make their voices heard in a historic presidential election. overall more than 5.2 million michiganders voted in this election, more than any election in our state's history. many voted absentee, utilizing the mail or local drop boxes or their local clerks up offices to return their balances -- their ballots. on election day itself, in-person voting was exceptionally smooth, at polling locations where citizens of all background and political affiliations observed the
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process and perspective are voters' right to cast their votes free from threat or intimidation. now here we are, 24 hours after the polls closed in michigan, and i'm pleased to announce that in michigan the process of tabulation is by a large complete and counties are in the final stages of receiving reports from the last jurisdictions as we speak. this was far quicker than we expected. i had continuously estimated it would take our election workers 80 hours to count every one of the nearly 3.3 million absentee ballots cast. based on the fact that it took 40 hours to count every one of them come of the 1.6 million come about half that number of absentee ballots cast in argus primaries. just as they have done all year, our 1500 local clerks and 83 county clerks worked with us to meet the challenge of this high turnout election, preparing the --tly and increasing so that now we are able to deliver unofficial results to
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the american public far sooner than we estimated. the overall process was smooth, efficient, secure, and accurate. behind the scenes there was a tremendous come extraordinary, heroic effort of our clerks and their staff who rose to meet every challenge thrown at them every step of the way and handled their work with diligence, grace, and a sincere commitment to ensuring that every vote was counted and every voice was heard. and now come as an unofficial up, we turnapping to the canvassing part of the process, which involves a bipartisan process of checks and balances that will proceed over the next 13 days. at that stage begins in michigan and as we continue to see the results of this historic election unfold nationwide, i would caution everyone against -- two sowing seeds of doubt in the integrity of our elections in michigan or
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throughout the country, whether it is ducted injury -- doctored images false tweets or frivolous , lawsuits, the purpose is the same, to reduce the public's faith in our elections and their outcome. but those efforts will not succeed. in michigan, the process worked. our system is secure, accurate, and anyone who tells you otherwise is attacking our democracy or unhappy with the result. we will continue to tell the truth and the true story of how in michigan we successfully ran an election with record-breaking turnout in the midst of a pandemic. but we cannot do this alone. we need every voter and citizen to prepare to counter misinformation and disinformation that may escalate in the days ahead. stand up in support of our democracy. do not allow scare tactics and lies to win the day. do not allow foreign or domestic actors to discredit our elections and attack our
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democracy. we need voters, members of the media, and elected officials and others to stand vigilant with us to commit to reporting only verifiable, accurate information in the days ahead. not just about michigan, but every state in our country. above all else, demonstrate your patriotism by standing up in support of the integrity of our elections. however the days ahead play out, the health of our nation and democracy requires us to come together in respect of the will of our voters and sanctity of the elections process. in michigan, i am proud to confirm all valid ballots and only valid ballots have been counted and our election results reflect the will of the people. now i am happy to take questions. thank you for your work tonight. i want to take a moment to emphasize and underscore the extraordinary amount of work that went into this election with over 1500 clerks around our state and 83 county clerks who
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worked alongside tens of thousands of election workers to meet and exceed every expectation of this year's election. the work underscores they are not just the most valuable players in our democracy, but the heroes of our democracy. they come from all backgrounds, all political parties. i am so grateful we are able to show results from michigan that accurately reflect the will of the people. thank you. reporter: good evening, secretary. my question is on the lawsuit from the trump campaign. you just used in your opening statement frivolous lawsuits. are you calling this lawsuit frivolous? and what are your thoughts going into the court system where your directive on the ban on open carry guns was shut down by the
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michigan court of appeals? the third part of this question is do you think this is the lawsuit the president intends to take to the u.s. supreme court? sec. benson: yes, i do believe it is frivolous. and i am gratified that our elections on tuesday were smooth. as i said repeatedly, as the court of appeals in the case you mentioned underscored, that voter intimidation in michigan is illegal, that threatening to harm in any way voters on their way to vote is illegal, and we are ready to respond if those incidents occur in michigan. thankfully they didn't. i am glad voters heard our call to make our precincts places where people were proud to bring their kids to watch the democratic process in action. that was the story of voters of all backgrounds respecting each
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other and protecting everyone's right to vote. i am grateful for that. starkly different from the use of the legal system to file frivolous claims as a way of sowing seeds of doubt about the integrity of our elections. as my remarks just underscored, i think it is time to come together and not allow frivolous lawsuits or any efforts to mislead the public about our elections. i will remain steadfastly determined in the days ahead to continue to correct false information and tell the extraordinary story of our elections in michigan this year of our clerks rising to the occasion, managing and overseeing a record-breaking voter turnout election in the midst of a pandemic and still delivering results effectively, securely, and accurately to the
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american people. >> next will be the detroit news. reporter: hi, secretary. quick question. you mentioned at the beginning the process is nearly complete. of the 100,000 that were outstanding this morning, how many are left to be counted, in which communities? sec. benson: the tabulation process is complete now. there is a process of finalizing and reporting the results to the county. that is happening as we speak. i wanted to emphasize the tabulation, particularly in the communities i mentioned, has been completed and is being prepared to be published, providing that full and official tabulate -- and unofficial tabulation so we can move to the official tabulation in the days ahead.
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reporter: thanks for taking my question. i wanted to ask about what happened today. you mentioned some things might be staged and misinformation. what do you make about the complaints they had? and are they valid or not? sec. benson: thanks for the question. what we saw at tcs center from the moment that the pre-processing on monday up through tonight was, by and large, a transparent process where representatives were able to observe the process and it proceeded efficiently and with integrity. as for the folks who showed up in the late hours to cause distraction and make a lot of noise, if they thought they would stop anyone from doing
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their job, they don't know detroit. >> ok, next is cnn. reporter: hi, secretary benson. thanks for taking the time. going back to the lawsuit the president filed in michigan today, the claim the president is making is that ballots were counted without bipartisan teams or allowing challengers to observe the process. i wanted you to respond to that specific claim. if you could briefly walk through the process of what the bipartisan teams are meant to do. sec. benson: i called it a frivolous lawsuit without merit because that is what it is. we will let the process play out. we will respect the process. but what i can say with confidence is the absentee ballot tabulation process was transparent, efficient, secure.
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and methodical. every i,orked to dot cross every t. workers took great pride in the important work they knew they were doing. i am proud to stand before you tonight and say they finished their work significantly more efficiently than we predicted. that is a reflection of the process working. i am proud to stand by it and defend it and really proud of the integrity that flowed through the process every step of the way. reporter: hi, secretary benson. an election site was advertising result as not counting absentees. do you have an understanding of what is going on there? sec. benson: the tabulation is finished and they are in the process of finalizing everything. as that process continues, which involves a lot of checks and
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balances, it is a number of bookkeeping things they have to do to secure any element for that official canvassing process that is about to begin. that is what you are seeing there. they are working as we speak to finalize that process. the actual tabulation has been completed. reporter: hi, secretary. can you hear me? sec. benson: yep. reporter: just a few days ago you and the governor were talking about having final unofficial results in by friday. we are two days ahead of schedule. what main factors do you point to in having these official results quicker than friday? sec. benson: we set that estimate, which would have been 80 hours from the moment we started tabulating. in august, it took us 40 hours
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statewide to process 1.6 million absentee ballots. we knew we were on pace to have twice that many in this election, so we estimated it would take twice as long to tabulate those ballots. we asked the legislature to do one things -- one thing. those two things we did was in some cases doubling or tripling the number of ballot tabulator's on hand. as well as high-speed envelope openers and technology. secondly, we increased the number of people able to be hired, protecting the requirement to have bipartisan teams evaluating the process, but also making sure we had more people on hand. to move the process even more efficiently. we also would love to have more time. the bipartisan policy center recommends seven days.
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when we look over the past states like florida or ohio 24 hours, count quite efficiently. or states that allow pre-processing of absentee ballots prior to election day. states like pennsylvania are not able to begin tabulation until after the polls open. the legislature gave 51 communities 10 hours to preprocess, and if we check in with communities throughout the day on monday, we found the real benefit was setting everything out, getting smooth processes in place so as soon as 7:00 a.m. hit tuesday, they were ready to go. so it was helpful to have in some communities that extra time, and i'm sure that ensure it into their efficient process as well. moving forward, i anticipate we will continue to ask the legislature in future elections to give us more time on the front end so we are not always in the position of having to
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make everyone wait as the full tabulation proceeds in the days that follow the closing of the polls. >> ok, next from first detroit. benson: hi. i can't hear you. reporter: hello. sec. benson: i hear you now. reporter: the chair of the wayne county board was at the center. was at the tcs center. a poll status as challenger. given her role, is that a conflict of interest, or is there any law that says she may have crossed a line? sec. benson: that is the first time i am hearing about that. we will certainly look into it.
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but that said, we mentioned transparency is on our side. we support a lot of eyes on the process. we know the county board of canvassers and state board of canvassers will have an important role to play in certifying the official results in the days to follow. in recognizing that, transparency and openness is important and we welcome that openness. we welcome people who wish to observe the process. we simply draw the line when those individuals become disruptive or try to interfere with the sanctity of our elections. >> we have no more hands raised. sec. benson: thank you, everyone. i hope everyone get some rest, and i hope everyone heeds our call to really push back against the misinformation that we
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believe will escalate potentially in the days ahead, and really work with us to respect the will of the voters and bring our country and state together in furtherance of our democracy and those who have spoken and will continue to hear their -- to have their voices heard in the days ahead. thank you. announcer: use your laptop or phone to follow the results of the historic 2020 election. go to for interactive tools, giving you real-time voting results. our national map to track the presidential race. tally, aspular vote well as the balance of power for the u.s. house and senate. stream live or on-demand any time on election night. at wednesday, joe biden held a news conference as vote counting continues in swing states. mr. biden said he believes his


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