Board of State Canvassers

We all want secure, transparent elections, and for everyone’s vote to count. The Board of State Canvassers are part of making sure every vote is counted. Their job is to double check math and ensure forms are filled out correctly, not investigate or question our votes. Voters decide the election results — not canvassing boards.

About the Board of State Canvassers:

  • The Board of State Canvassers is made up of two Democrats and two Republicans that are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. 

  • After an election it’s the Board of State Canvassers’ job to ensure paperwork from each Board of County Canvassers is filled out correctly.

  • They double check math from each county and tally results from the counties to get totals for the state.

  • They certify the results of statewide elections, including ballot measures and elections for Congress and Michigan Senate and House districts, making the results official within 40 days of the election.

    • The Board of State Canvassers is legally required, under possible civil and criminal penalties, to certify county election results.

    • Their duties are purely clerical; they are there to ensure paperwork is filled out correctly and no math errors have been made. 

    • If a candidate or voter believes the election results are inaccurate, they can file for a recount after the results have been certified. 

What the Board of State Canvassers Does Not Do:

  • Investigate allegations of fraud or misconduct.

  • Call for audits or recounts.

If Precincts Do Not Balance:

A precinct is “balanced” when the total number of ballots cast matches the number of voters recorded as voting. There are a number of innocent reasons precincts may not balance due to simple human error. If one or more precincts in a county are not balanced, it is not a reason for the board not to certify; they simply prepare a special report that is included with the final paperwork they submit to the Board of State Canvassers after certifying the election. Note: Even if a precinct is unbalanced, all the votes have been counted.

Paid for by Progress Michigan, 614 Seymour Ave., Lansing, MI 48933