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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.

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

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.”

Ryan Kelley

Busi­­ness owner Ryan Kelley (R) has said that the elec­­tion was “stolen” and called for lawmakers to “decer­­­tify” it. 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.”