Skip Navigation

Michigan: Election Denial in Races for Election Administration Positions

A collection of examples illustrates the prevalence of election denial in 2022 contests for the offices that will run the next elections in Michigan.

Last Updated: August 31, 2022
Published: March 29, 2022
Illustration featuring the state of Michigan
Brennan Center for Justice
View the entire Election Denial in Races for Election Administration Positions series

Below, we compile quotes from campaigns’ ads, websites, social media posts, and statements reported in the media that illustrate endorsement or opposition to election denial — claims that the process or result of the last presidential election was illegitimate. Each of the candidates is running for an office that will play a role in administering future elections in Michigan. Information about the financing of these campaigns and those in other battleground states can be found here.


Donna Brandenburg (disqualified)

The gubernatorial campaign website of business owner Donna Brandenburg (R) says, “There are more anomalies to the 2020 election than any election in the history of the United States. . . . The overwhelming evidence of interference and fraud . . . is a disregard of your voice and your rights.” She calls for a “Full Forensic Audit” and claims there is evidence of, among other things, “Ballots cast by deceased voters,” “Ineligible ballots counted multiple times,” and “78% of mail-in ballots proven fraudulent.” A post on her campaign Facebook page says, “The overthrow of the 2020 election was the last straw for every American who voted.”

Tudor Dixon (won primary)

Media personality Tudor Dixon (R) has offered inconsistent answers when asked whether Trump won the 2020 election. At a debate in May when asked if Trump won the state of Michigan, she responded, “yes.” After a debate in July, she said it’s impossible to know the outcome of the election and claimed: “I don’t think we can see enough of the evidence because we weren’t able to look back and some of that is destroyed now.” In an appearance on Fox News in July, she dodged the question and instead criticized Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s secretary of state.

Ryan Kelley (lost primary)

Busi­­ness owner Ryan Kelley (R) has said that the elec­­tion was “stolen” and called for lawmakers to “decer­­­tify” it. At a July debate, Kelley repeated this belief, explicitly saying he thought the 2020 election was stolen and citing parts of “2,000 Mules,” a movie claiming large numbers of people put false ballots in drop boxes. In remarks at a Janu­ary 2022 meet­ing where he encour­aged support­ers to sign up to serve as poll work­ers, Kelley said, “if you see some­th­ing you don’t like happen­ing with the [voting] machines . . . unplug it from the wall.” His campaign website features a state­ment that char­ac­ter­­­izes the 2020 elec­­tion in Michigan as “the most fraud­u­lent elec­­tion in Amer­ican history” and calls on the legis­lature “to DECER­­­TIFY the 2020 elec­­tion results in the state of Michigan until a full forensic audit.”