Republican Official Says No Election 'Interference' After Michigan County's Forensic Audit

A Republican county clerk in Michigan said there is "no evidence" of outside interference in the 2020 presidential election there after a forensic audit was conducted and the results were reported this month.

Former President Donald Trump and many of his conservative allies continue to falsely claim that President Joe Biden won the election because of widespread voter fraud. Although no evidence has emerged substantiating the allegation, Republican-backed audits have been carried out across the country—including places where Trump beat Biden.

Macomb County in Michigan—where Trump beat Biden by 53 percent to 45 percent—concluded a forensic audit of its election equipment this month. The county's GOP clerk asserted that everything checked out, news site MLive reported on Thursday.

"I'm very comfortable saying that the software and the tabulators work the way they were supposed to," Macomb County Clerk Anthony Forlini told MLive.

Trump supporter
A clerk for a Michigan county said a forensic audit there revealed no evidence of outside interference in the 2020 presidential election. Above, a supporter of former President Donald Trump holds up a sign in Howell, Michigan, on October 5, 2021. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

In a January 5 memo, Forlini revealed the results of the audit. In that document, the clerk explained that "we learned that there was no evidence of outside interference in our election server, our election software, as well as our modem communication systems."

Forlini also wrote that "no evidence of malicious internet connectivity was found." He added that "no evidence of malicious or unexpected activity was detected on the systems."

Trump allies—such as My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell—have repeatedly claimed that voting machines were hacked in the 2020 election. Lindell has alleged that China was behind the nonexistent cyberattack, but cybersecurity and election experts have repeatedly debunked his false claims and the so-called evidence he has presented. Audits and reviews, such as the one in Macomb County, have not uncovered any evidence of malicious cyberactivity.

Forlini previously said he had no reason to believe Macomb County's election results were inaccurate, The Detroit News reported. But he said he wanted to do the audit "to establish all the best practices for good, clean elections." The Republican official also plans to take further steps to "improve the overall integrity" of elections in his county.

Back in October, Trump released a statement slamming Michigan Republicans who have not fully supported his false claims about the 2020 election. He also specifically demanded an audit in Macomb County—despite beating Biden there.

"Why won't they give respected professionals and representatives at yesterday's rally the right to do a Forensic Audit of Wayne County (Detroit) and Macomb County?" the former president said at the time. "That includes the RINOs in the State Senate and House who for, whatever reason, do nothing but obstruct instead of seeking the truth." RINOs is an acronym for "Republicans in name only."

Multiple audits and reviews in Michigan have reaffirmed Biden's victory over Trump in the state. The president beat the former president by a sizable margin of more than 150,000 votes. Although Trump narrowly carried Michigan in 2016, Democratic presidential candidates had previously won the state in every election going back to 1992.

Last June, a review of the 2020 election led by Michigan's state Senate Republicans found "no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud" in the results. That review was thorough and took eight months to complete.

"I am confident in asserting that the results of the November 2020 General Election in Michigan were accurately represented by the certified and audited results," state Senator Ed McBroom, a Republican who chairs the Senate Oversight Committee, said in a statement after that review was completed.

Similar audits and reviews in states and counties across the country—including in many places where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans—have consistently reaffirmed the 2020 election results. Nonetheless, Trump continues to insist that he lost because of a "rigged" election.

More than 60 election challenge lawsuits in state and federal courts filed by the former president and his supporters have failed. Even 10 judges who had been appointed by Trump ruled against the legal challenges.

Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, drew criticism as he had the Justice Department investigate allegations of fraud after the 2020 election. However, he asserted in December 2020 that there was "no evidence" of widespread fraud that would change the election's outcome.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, when it was still led by a Trump appointee, described the 2020 election as the "most secure in American history." The federal agency explained that there was "no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

Newsweek reached out to the Macomb County clerk's office for further comment but did not hear back before publication.