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100% Accuracy in Post Election Audit

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, December 9, 2021

Audit of Election Equipment and Conduct of City of Traverse City’s November 2021 Election

On December 8, 2021, an extensive audit of the Traverse City City Commission election of
November 2, 2021, was conducted as randomly-selected by the Department of State. The audit
included analysis and examination of documents and procedures used by the City Clerk’s team 
leading up to the election and the procedures and documentation from a randomly-selected
voting precinct, which was City of Traverse City Precinct 3, as well as the Absent Voter
Counting Board for Precinct 3.

Importantly, the independent audit, conducted in accordance with Department of State
regulations, also included a hand count of the vote totals in a randomly-selected race, which
confirmed that it matched 100% with the reported results.

One of City Clerk Benjamin Marentette’s areas of responsibility is planning, managing and
overseeing all aspects of federal, state and local elections within Traverse City. Marentette
noted, “At the center of all of our team discussions is ensuring Michigan’s elections – the entire
apparatus – is rooted in practice that cements voter confidence. Conducting random audits such
as this one is key to ensuring we have elections where everyone knows that their vote will count.
Having a post-election audit is another important way to police our elections. ... and of course,
I am very pleased that the audit of one of Traverse City’s voting precincts demonstrates the
professionalism and tenacity of the election team’s commitment to excellence.”

Marentette added, "We are pleased that the City of Traverse City's post-election audit resulted in
100% accuracy in the randomly chosen Precinct 3. During election day we have approximately 60 high-caliber individuals powering democracy at all of our precincts. The teams  under the leadership of Susan Fisher at Precinct 3 and the team under the leadership of Nicole VanNess in the Absentee Voting Counting Board, were exemplary in their work. We are grateful to have individuals in our community that care about the democratic process. Furthermore, I am proud of the permanent and interim team in the City's Clerk's Office for their great work leading up to election day."

Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele, with decades of professional election
administration experience, was pleased with the audit, saying, “Audits like this are important for
several reasons, and the most important of those reasons is ensuring the methods and manner in
which elections are conducted guarantees accuracy. As election officials, we are responsible to

forever-protect the fabric of democracy and that is done through multiple stages of double-
checks, including after-the-fact checks like this audit.”

Scheele added, “Additionally, immediately following the election, our Board of Canvassers
conducted its level of review and verification of the election procedures and results; and
following that, the election audit triple-confirmed the results.”