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Trashed for debunking election claims, Michigan lawmaker now backs Trump

three people taking in chairs
Former U.S. Rep. Dave Trott and Michigan state Sen. Ed McBroom, both Republicans, on Monday discussed ongoing challenges of building trust in the election system. (Bridge photo by Lauren Gibbons)
  • State Sen. Ed McBroom, an Upper Peninsula Republican who found no widespread fraud in 2020 election, was heavily criticized by Trump 
  • McBroom now backs Trump, but said during a Monday panel that he finds the president’s ‘boorish’ approach frustrating
  • McBroom and former U.S. Rep. Dave Trott said convincing fellow Republicans to trust election results remains a challenge

DETROIT — The Michigan Republican who Donald Trump called a “RINO” for refuting claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election is backing the former president in 2024 — but he stands by his findings and remains confident that the upcoming election will be safe and secure.

Michigan state Sen. Ed McBroom, a dairy farmer from the Upper Peninsula, is one of more than 50 Michigan Republican lawmakers who endorsed Trump’s campaign for the presidency. 

He did so despite Trump’s past claims that McBroom’s 2021 report on Michigan's 2020 election amounted to a “cover up.”


During a Monday panel hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, McBroom said he doesn’t like the direction sitting President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is taking the country. 

But McBroom acknowledged Trump’s “boorish” approach remains frustrating, especially as conversations with voters rehashing the details of the 2020 presidential contest continue to take up “a lot of my time.”  

“I don’t like losing elections either — being in the minority stinks,” McBroom said. “We as leaders can show that, ‘Hey, I don’t like this, but I’m not going to fall apart here and go crazy.’ It sets a good example for everyone.” 

McBroom and former U.S. Rep. David Trott, a Birmingham Republican, told panel attendees Monday that it remains challenging to convince fellow Republicans that elections are trustworthy, despite court rulings, audits and McBroom’s investigation dispelling theories circulated by Trump allies. 

“It's very difficult to have a conversation with someone that believes the election was stolen, because the person is operating in an alternate reality, in my opinion,” Trott said. 

McBroom led a Senate committee that spent more than eight months investigating Trump's claims about the 2020 election. They determined there was "no evidence" there were "significant acts of fraud" in Michigan, where Biden beat Trump by 154,188 votes. 

"Citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan," the report concluded. 

Trump responded by calling McBroom "corrupt" and urged his supporters to “overthrow” the Michigan lawmaker, who nonetheless won re-election last year.

McBroom said he empathizes with people looking for answers about the election process, which he tries to work through on an individual basis — a process he finds productive, but also “very slow.” 

“So many of the folks who are supporters of the former president have really genuine concerns, and they simply haven't had the opportunity to get outside of the sources that they hear all the time,” he said. “They don’t know who else to talk to.” 

Generally speaking, McBroom said he isn’t worried about many of the changes made to the election process in 2018 and 2022, which were more widely backed by Democrats. He said early voting and pre-processing of absentee ballots has worked well in other states. 

McBroom said he finds unattended voter drop boxes “a little more troublesome” due to lack of security and wishes the state would do a better job of tackling the voter rolls to avoid situations where absentee ballot applications are showing up to the wrong address 

But he told the Detroit chamber crowd that he believes Michigan’s localized election process is built to handle any discrepancies. 

“Despite some changes that I personally don't like, don't necessarily think are the best, we still have just this incredibly robust post-election audit process, and we still have paper ballots,” McBroom said. 

The challenge, he said, is getting people on both sides of the aisle to trust it.

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