Video does not show votes by dead residents in Michigan
CLAIM: Searches of Michigan’s Voter Information Center show that dead residents voted in the Nov. 3 election, proving there was voter fraud in the recent election.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Searches of the state’s voter information site are being shared on social media as proof that dead people cast ballots in the 2020 election. It actually shows legitimate voters. The Michigan secretary of state’s office confirmed that ballots of voters who have died are not counted in Michigan.
THE FACTS: Widely shared posts online are claiming that dead voters are being counted in Michigan in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
The posts rely on a video that shows names of voters being entered into the Michigan Voter Registration Center. In one video, the name Donna Brydges is entered with a birth date from 1901, which would make her 119 years old. The video then shows that a vote was received from Donna Brydges in Ludington, Michigan, for the Nov. 3 presidential election.
“Apparently Donna Brydges (born in 1901) voted via absentee ballot in Mason County, Michigan. That would make her 119 years old!,” said a tweet circulating the video along with a claim that it shows fraud in the election. The tweet had more than 19,000 retweets. Ludington is in Mason County.
The Associated Press reached out to Brydges, whose contact information was listed in the voting information. She answered the phone and confirmed her identity. She then passed the phone to her husband, who verified that his wife was very much alive, noting “she’s actually beat me in a game of Cribbage.”
In a statement to the AP, Tracy Wimmer, director of media relations for the secretary of state’s office, said that ballots cast by voters who die before election day are rejected in Michigan.
“On rare occasions, a ballot received for a living voter may be recorded in a way that makes it appear as if the voter is dead,” she said.
This can occur for a number of reasons. For example, someone born in 1990 is accidentally recorded as being born in 1890, Wimmer said.
“Local clerks can correct the issue when it is brought to their attention,” she said.
Several other names were also used online to make the false assertion that dead people were voting. The false claims were shared online with the hashtag #stopthesteal, which has been circulated in recent days to suggest that votes are being stolen from President Donald Trump.
False claims about dead people voting in Michigan also arose during the Michigan primary election on August 4. Michigan election authorities at the time said that there was also no evidence that votes were cast on behalf of dead people.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536