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Officials: Clerk error behind county results favoring Biden

November 7, 2020 GMT

BELLAIRE, Mich. (AP) — A clerk’s error in a small Republican-leaning northern Michigan county earlier this week led to the reporting of unofficial voting results that favored Democrat Joe Biden, state officials said.

Questions were raised after Antrim County, northeast of Traverse City, first reported a local landslide for Biden in his race against Republican incumbent Donald Trump in the presidential election.

The Republican National Committee included it among several allegations of voting irregularities in Michigan that favored Biden and Democrats.

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But Michigan’s Department of State said Friday that the Antrim County clerk accidentally did not update software used to collect voting machine data.

“Because the clerk did not update software, even though the tabulators counted all the ballots correctly, those accurate results were not combined properly when the clerk reported unofficial results,” the Department of State said.

“Even if the error in the reported unofficial results had not been quickly noticed, it would have been identified during the county canvass,” department officials added. “The software did not cause a misallocation of votes; it was a result of user human error.”

Antrim County officials acknowledged that the results seemed “skewed” and promised a second look. More than 16,000 votes were cast.

Trump defeated Joe Biden in Antrim County, getting 56% of the vote, according to revised totals posted Thursday.

The Department of State said Antrim and many other counties in Michigan use the Dominion Voting Systems election management system and ballot tabulators. The tabulators are programmed to scan hand-marked paper ballots. The paper ballots are retained and a totals tape showing the number of votes for each candidate in each race is printed from the machine.

County clerks use election management system software to combine the electronic totals from tabulators and submit a report of unofficial results.

The company that provides the Election Management Software used in Antrim County said the software “performed exactly and accurately.”

“Late in the election preparation process, a minor correction was made to a ballot that caused additional compounding changes to how the software totals and presented the data,” said Jeff DeLongchamp, president of Grand Rapids-based ElectionSource. “The skewed unofficial results were a result of procedural misunderstanding that the clerk’s office had never before experienced.”