FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Report Alleges Ann Arbor Violated Michigan Election Laws During 2022 Midterms
Michigan Fair Elections and Pure Integrity Michigan Elections release results of 7-month investigation into election irregularities in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
June 22, 2023. A comprehensive report released today by Michigan Fair Elections (MFE) and Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME) reveals alleged violations of state election laws by Ann Arbor, Michigan, election officials during the 2022 midterm elections. The report, titled Ann Arbor Compromises Election Integrity during 2022 Election, highlights several concerning issues related to voter registration, plus discriminatory and legally unauthorized practices. (Link to full report here here.)
The report's findings are based on a thorough review of open-source documents, information obtained through open records requests, and data from Michigan's Qualified Voter File.
One of the prominent issues outlined in the analysis is the alleged acceptance of tardy ballots and the registration of voters beyond the state's registration deadline by Ann Arbor officials.
"The law puts deadlines in place for good reason," Patrice Johnson, chair of MFE and PIME said. "An election is like a horse race. You have to have a finish line. You can't keep moving it until your horse pulls ahead."
According to Michigan law, individuals may apply in person at the clerk's office before 8 p.m. on election day to vote as an absent voter. However, MFE and PIME's examination of time-stamped voter history records suggests that over 600 individuals, including many college students registered at the University of Michigan's satellite registration offices, were registered to vote absentee after the 8 p.m. election day deadline.
Out of these 600 late registrants, 120 individuals purportedly cast absentee ballots on November 9, 2022, the day after the election. A screenshot obtained through an open records request displays a voter history file indicating that a voter was registered on November 8, 2022. However, the file's time stamp suggests that the registration occurred at 1:41 a.m. on November 9, 2022, potentially violating the registration deadline.
The report further raises concerns about potential confusion among voters regarding where and when they were allowed to vote, possibly stemming from “erroneous guidance” provided by Michigan's Democrat Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, on Election Day. Less than two hours before polls closed on November 8, 2022, Benson tweeted, "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.” MFE and PIME argue that such guidance contradicts Michigan law, which permits in-person voting on Election Day exclusively at polling places with tabulators, and not at clerk offices or clerk satellite offices.
The report also sheds light on additional issues, including Ann Arbor's alleged use of discriminatory and partisan practices in registering eligible voters. According to the report, satellite registration offices were strategically located in areas with demographics more likely to favor Democrats.
Notably, the report provides a satellite image illustrating how Ann Arbor placed two clerk satellite registration offices on the University of Michigan's campus, one of which was seemingly situated in the midst of U-M student housing locations. However, the report alleges that satellite offices were not equitably placed in close proximity to facilities such as senior living centers, whose residents would tend to have greater needs for voting accessibility.
“The clerk is required by federal and state law to provide fair and unbiased treatment to voters in her jurisdiction,” Johnson said. “But one look at the map, and it’s obvious the clerk satellite offices were placed for the benefit of only one demographic group, students. Senior citizens tend to have more difficulty getting around. They would have benefited a great deal more from closer proximity to these offices. They were discriminated against, and students were favored.”
MFE and PIME argue that this disproportionate placement of satellite offices raises questions about partisan motives. The report presents data from the Ann Arbor Clerk's website, indicating that precincts containing at least one U-M student housing complex voted 94.7% for the Democratic candidate for governor in the November 2022 election. The report suggests that considering the voting patterns associated with these precincts, the selection of satellite office locations warrants scrutiny regarding potential partisan influence.
Additionally, the report highlights unlawful re-registration of voters and documented instances of electioneering by a local political party as other alleged problems that undermined the integrity of the 2022 midterms in Ann Arbor.
Michigan Fair Elections and Pure Integrity Michigan Elections call for a thorough investigation into the reported violations.
Michigan Fair Elections Institute (MFE) is a Michigan nonprofit organization composed of volunteers. Its local task forces, alliances with like-minded organizations, and statewide committees work to build a successful and permanent election integrity infrastructure. They take action to ensure the state’s laws are designed to protect election integrity and election administrators uphold and enforce the laws. MFE is a peaceful, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the U.S. and Michigan Constitutions. Website: mifairelections.org, Social media: Facebook, Telegram, Rumble, Signal, and Truth; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pure Integrity for Michigan Elections is a Michigan nonprofit 501(C)4 organization whose mission is to help restore election integrity to the Great Lakes State. PIME is a peaceful, nonpartisan political movement that welcomes all who support election integrity and the U.S. and Michigan Constitutions. Website: pureintegritymichiganelections.org. Social: Rumble, Facebook, Signal, Truth, and Telegram; Email: email@example.com.