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DAY LATE: Ann Arbor, MI, counts 120 absentee ballots cast on Nov. 9 in Nov. 8 election

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

April 3, 2023


A team of investigators here at Michigan Fair Elections has been looking into activities of concern during the General Election last November 2022. Today, we are saddened to announce that blatant violations of multiple election laws appear to have occurred in Ann Arbor:

  • Approximately 600 voters were registered and allowed to vote absentee after the 8:00 pm deadline on November 8, in direct violation of MCL 168.731(3).

  • Unbelievable as it sounds, more than 120 of these voters registered on November 9 and their ballots were counted in the November 8 election

These violations are documented. They occurred on University of Michigan campus in the City of Ann Arbor.


As results of the 2022 election in Michigan began to pour in, media headlines reported hours-long waits in lines to register and vote at the U-M campus. News broadcasts showed lines of student voters receiving enticements to vote in the form of pizzas, blankets, and drinks—in blatant violation of electioneering laws.


Then reports came in that state election officials had dispatched a computer programmer to adjust Ann Arbor’s voting systems to accept votes for the November 8 election from people who registered to vote in the early morning hours of November 9.


An absentee ballot cast after deadline is NOT supposed to count. But late-cast ballots were counted.


Registered voters who are in line to vote in person may cast counted ballots, but previously unregistered voters may not register and vote after 8 PM, nor may anyone vote absentee after 8 PM.


To be clear:


You are not allowed to register to vote in the election after 8 PM.
You are not allowed vote absentee after 8 PM.

Volunteers from Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME) and Michigan Fair Elections (MFE) decided to investigate. What they uncovered verified several issues, among them were apparent and significant violations of Michigan Compiled Law (MCL).



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A soon-to-be-released report will provide a comprehensive examination of the findings from five months’ research into the 2022 election in the City of Ann Arbor and on the University of Michigan campus. Below are a handful of the findings.


PIME and MFE agree: All eligible voters should be encouraged to register and allowed to vote. However, laws must be upheld in order to preserve the integrity of elections and protect voter rights. Otherwise, undue burdens are placed on local clerks and

election workers, and select demographic groups gain unfair advantage.


For each ineligible vote that is counted in an election, an eligible vote is suppressed and diluted. All eligible voters are entitled to have their ballot count. They are entitled to fair elections that uphold the laws and prevent the unlawful counting of ineligible ballots.


BALLOTS FROM VOTER REGISTRATIONS AS LATE AS NOVEMBER 9 WERE UNLAWFULLY CAST AND COUNTED IN THE NOVEMBER 8 ELECTION


Bizarre as it sounds, more than 120 people registered to vote on November 9, and then their unlawfully cast absentee ballots were counted in the November 8 election. In all, more than 600 individuals, mainly students at satellite registration offices on the University of Michigan campus, were allowed to register and vote absentee after the required 8 PM deadline on Election Day, November 8, 2022.


Voter History File showing a November 9 registration for the November 8 Election



The time-stamped, voter history records show 600 voters were registered to vote after the deadline of 8 PM, November 8. Of those 600, roughly 120 voter records were time-stamped after midnight on the morning of November 9—the next day.


As disturbing, these voter history records were apparently altered to indicate that these voters registered on November 8. The falsification of election records is illegal.


Absentee voting versus in-person voting


Michigan Compiled Law 168.731(3) states, “a person may apply in person at the clerk's office before 8 PM on election day to vote as an absent voter.”


To be clear, the law does not allow the receipt of absentee ballots after the 8 PM deadline on Election Day. Neither does the law allow a person to register to vote after 8 PM on Election Day and have their ballot counted in the past election.

Whether through ignorance or malfeasance, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued inaccurate guidance, tweeting, “Whether you’re at your precinct in line to vote or at your local clerk’s office in line to register and vote, as long as you are in line by 8p you can still register and vote.”



Contrary to the secretary’s mis-, mal- or disinformation, a person must be registered to vote before 8:00 PM in order to cast a ballot in the current election.

Plus, no Michigan Compiled Law allows for an absentee ballot to be counted if received after 8:00 PM on Election Day.



In-person polling locations


Michigan law allows registered voters to cast counted ballots if they are standing in line at an in-person polling location when the polls close at 8:00 PM.


Previously registered voters may check into polling locations and fill out their ballots in person. With in-person voting, the voter feeds a ballot into a tabulator and the person's vote is counted in their presence. In person polling locations are set up in areas separate from clerk and clerk satellite offices.


The law states that polling places are the in-person voting locations “in which the election officials, challengers, voting machines or ballot boxes and voting booths, and persons in the actual process of voting, are located.”


MCL 168.663 Polling places….
Sec. 663. The legislative body of each city, village and township shall provide for and cause to be erected in the room where any election is to be held in each election precinct of such city, village or township, a suitable barrier which shall be so placed as to separate from the rest of the room the area in which the election officials, challengers, voting machines or ballot boxes and voting booths, and persons in the actual process of voting, are located…. (http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-168-663)


Clerk and satellite offices


Clerk offices and satellite clerk offices, unlike polling locations, are registration sites. Here eligible but unregistered individuals may register to vote and receive their absentee ballots. Often, drop boxes are nearby where voters may deposit their absentee ballot in an approved secrecy sleeve before the deadline.


Clerk and campus satellite offices are not in person polling locations. A registrant cannot vote in-person at a clerk or satellite office.


Therefore, according to the law, anyone applying to register to vote at the Clerk’s office after 8 PM may vote in future elections. They may not vote in the past election because they missed the deadline. No matter where or what time they are standing in line.


Conclusions


Significant violations of law occurred in the 2022 election in Ann Arbor: At least 600 voters were allowed to register at satellite office locations after 8:00 PM and have their absentee ballots unlawfully counted; 120 voters were registered on November 9 and cast absentee ballots that were counted in the November 8 election. Records were altered, and computer systems were reportedly changed in order to allow these unlawful votes to count.


Recommendations


The results of the past election serve as models for change going forward. Those who committed unlawful acts should be held accountable, and these unlawful acts should be prevented from recurring.


Next: Look for Part 2, “Favoritism demonstrated to a select demographic group: Students.”




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