Michigan GOP chair says glitch switched Republican votes, but state officials claim ‘accidental error’
Voting discrepancies in the state of Michigan have prompted the examination of vote-counting software in at least one county where it was used in this election. Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox said that a glitch in the software gave thousands of Republican votes to Democrats in error. The presidential election in that state is now being questioned and is part of legal moves by the Trump campaign to contest voting results.
The glitch was noticed in Antrim County where thousands of votes were counted in error for Biden, and for Democratic Sen. Gary Peters instead of GOP candidate John James.
According to the media, 98 percent of the votes have been counted in Michigan with Biden leading by almost 150,000 votes. These networks have declared Biden the winner in Michigan.
A press conference was held on Friday where Cox stated that “in Antrim County, ballots were counted for Democrats that were meant for Republicans, causing a 6,000 vote swing against our candidates. The county clerk came forward and said, ‘tabulating software glitched and caused a miscalculation of the votes.’” The county had to hand-count ballots after that. This raises doubt in the state about the validity of the election there.
Cox also went on to say that “since then, we have now discovered that 47 counties used this same software in the same capacity,” or more than half of Michigan’s 83 counties. She urged those counties to “closely examine their results for similar discrepancies.” Trump’s campaign circulated her remarks on Twitter. She said the people of Michigan deserve a transparent and open process.
Antrim County uses Dominion Voting Systems equipment. The results are stored on computer cards at precincts, then uploaded to another computer by county election officials.
Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, who is a Republican, said that it’s unclear if human error or a glitch caused the error. The discrepancy was discovered because Democratic wins were incongruous with the county’s conservative leanings. A manual review confirmed the error.
University of Michigan computer science professor J. Alex Halderman, a voting machine expert, commented that “it’s plausibly human error, but if a simple screw-up could cause these problems, that sounds like a technical design flaw.”
“It’s natural to wonder whether similar problems could have occurred in other jurisdictions that use the same machine. Fortunately, even if the county hadn’t noticed, this would have been caught and corrected during Michigan’s normal canvassing procedures, when they compare the results to the paper tapes from the machines,” he said.
On Thursday, a judge in Michigan tossed out a lawsuit from the Trump campaign to halt the counting of ballots, ruling that the vote count had already ended.
Trump won Michigan by just 10,704 votes in 2016 against Hillary Clinton but initial results in the state in 2020 showed an even larger win for the president.
“In Michigan, we lead by over 35,000 votes, and it is growing, a substantially bigger margin than President Trump won Michigan in 2016,” Biden said.
The Michigan Department of State has issued a denial of the claims, saying: “The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim county was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County Clerk. The equipment and software did not malfunction and all ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results.”
Michigan is one of a handful of battleground states that the Trump campaign is legally challenging on ballot counting and voting irregularities.