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Election staff, law enforcement practice emergency election scenarios

Hilary Farrell
WGVU photo

Michigan's Secretary of State spent the day in West Michigan, working on emergency election scenarios with clerks and law enforcement ahead of fall elections.

“We’re preparing for Michigan to be in the spotlight and under scrutiny, and our practices and our clerks to be under intense scrutiny. And we know while we hope for the best, we have to plan for any possible outcome.”

This year Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is scheduling exercises with clerks and law enforcement across the state.

They are practicing how to handle emergency election scenarios, such as people trying to prevent voters from getting to the polls, interfering with election processes, even outbreaks of violence.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for democracy and by practicing today we can identify potential information gaps and solidify communication channels and strengthen partnerships between election official, law enforcement and emergency responders. As well, we can try to prevent bad things from happening.”

Another concern is artificial intelligence and how it could be used or misused during elections.

“We are aware of this additional challenge we are for the first time encountering this year. We have passed new laws and implemented additional protections for it but we want citizens to be critical consumers of information as well and look out for any attempts to fool them.”

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