Software issue in Michigan affected estimated 6,000 Trump votes in one county

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Editor note and update: Since our original article was published, the Michigan secretary of state’s office has published a notice explaining that the Antrim county reporting mistake resulted from a user error, not a software error, and did not affect the election results or other counties or states.

ANTRIM COUNTY, MI -This is an update to an earlier report we filed about a computer “glitch” in Antrim County, Michigan which was reported to have only affected two Republican votes in the important swing state.

However, the Detroit Free Press is reporting it was much, much worse.

According to Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, a Republican who ran unopposed and won a third term on Tuesday in a very strong Republican county, results on electronic tapes and a computer card were apparently accurate, however when the results were transcribed from the cards to a computer, something appeared to be wrong.

In 2016, President Trump won the county with around 62% of the vote, compared to 33% for Hillary Clinton. The president outpolled Clinton by 4,000 votes.

Wednesday morning after the election, results in the county showed Biden leading the president by around 3,000 votes with 98% of precincts reporting. Nothing to see here, right?

Guy said that officials hadn’t checked the results prior to posting them, however later asked:

“How could Democrats take over this county?”

Clearly, that made zero sense.

She said that officials were going over the tape of the results and inputting the numbers manually.

Antrim uses Dominion voting equipment and doesn’t use cellular modems to transmit results from precincts to county offices. Rather, the data is transported by election officials, Guy said.

She originally noted she was in talks with the company that maintains the equipment but said it could be the result of “human error.”

Tom McMillin, a former state lawmaker from Oakland County told the Detroit Free Press that he is estimating that both President Trump and US Senate Candidate John James could realize between 4,000-5,000 votes each. 

Joe Gumm, a local news anchor with KXXV-TV tweeted about Michigan’s use of the same Election Source program and noted that 33 other counties used that same possibly compromised program to compile their vote totals.

A political commentator, Dennis Lennox also questioned the vote totals from other counties in the state.

“Trump did not lose #AntrimCounty in #Michigan. It is now confirmed that 32 other counties use the same software as Antrim County. He will get 6,000 plus votes out of Antrim. What about the other counties with the same software?” he tweeted.

But according to AFP:

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office released a statement on November 7 explaining what went wrong in Antrim, and how it was corrected.

“The error in reporting unofficial results in Antrim County Michigan was the result of a user error that was quickly identified and corrected; did not affect the way ballots were actually tabulated; and would have been identified in the county canvass before official results were
reported even if it had not been identified earlier,” the statement said.

The software program, Election Source, worked properly and correctly counted votes, but the county missed an operation step, the statement said. This resulted in a miscommunication between the software and the county’s central election management system that was quickly corrected.

“This was an isolated error, there is no evidence this user error occurred elsewhere in the state, and if it did it would be caught during county canvasses, which are conducted by bipartisan boards of county canvassers.”

Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy is quoted on the county’s Facebook page: “We continue to work hard to ensure the integrity of the election results.” 

It will be interesting to see if the 138,339 vote dump that went to Biden under the cover of darkness early Wednesday morning , with The Federalist noting that “Biden somehow got all of the votes, and Trump got none, zero, in an overnight vote-dump.”

An apparent “issue” with an election ballot counting program caused only two votes to be tallied for Republican candidates.  The problem is being blamed on programming “infrastructure” and could be prevalent through other counties across the state of Michigan.

Two major races are impacted by this “issue”:  President, with Joe Biden now leading Donald Trump in the state; and United States Senate, with John James losing to Democratic incumbent Gary Peters.

The problem was discovered Wednesday morning.  Republican state legislator Triston Cole heard of the two votes cast for Representative Jack Bergman in his county that were counted, and responded:

“I can guarantee that there were 6 [Bergman votes] in my immediate family alone.”

Election results are no longer posted on the county’s website, and county authorities released an official statement:

“Early this morning, the Antrim County Clerk, Sheryl Guy, became aware of apparently skewed results in the Unofficial Election Result tabulations.

Since then, the Clerk’s Office has been reviewing the results and the multiple redundancies to search out any possible discrepancies. Staff is currently working with township officials and with Election Source, the company that provides the voting software programs and hardware.”

Sheryl Guy reported that vote totals on printed tabulator tapes and totals counted by the election software did not match. The printed tabulated tapes from each precinct will now be counted manually as a result. 

There have been more than 16,000 votes cast in Antrim County.  

Michigan Republican party chairperson Laura Cox stated:

“The irregularities reported this morning are incredibly troubling, especially given how close the election results are in Michigan.”

On Wednesday, the Trump campaign filed suit against the state of Michigan, claiming poll observers had been denied access to polling sites.

Like neighboring state Wisconsin, Michigan is claiming record voter turnout – a claim that draws both pride and skepticism.  Reports and rumors of tons of ballots mysteriously appearing in the middle of the night have cast doubt on these turnout claims.

Officially, Michigan is claiming that more than 5,260,000 citizens have voted.

Challengers to election results for and against both parties have arrived at polling locations in the state.  The TCF Convention Center is Detroit is ground zero for these groups, with about 50 challengers representing the Republicans.  Other groups include the ACLU, NAACP, and union group representatives.

Branden Snyder, executive director of Detroit Action, a housing and economic justice group stated:

“We got a call that they needed more volunteers.  Our goal is to make sure the process is fair and equal.”

It is unknown on what authority Mr. Snyder used in his action afterwards, but when more than 100 opposing challengers arrived at the TCF Center, he turned them away for the day.

In other election irregularities, the United States Postal Service (USPS) failed to comply with a federal court order, effectively ignoring the order.  The USPS indicated that it couldn’t meet the 3 p.m. deadline set by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan for facilities to sweep their buildings for mail-in ballots.

The USPS also failed to comply with an order to allow election inspectors to inspect mail service in places like Detroit to make sure all mailed in ballots had been deposited at election drop-off sites.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy filed a response to Judge Sullivan’s order, indicating the service didn’t have enough inspectors to cover the task. 

There will certainly be a discussion and possible sanctions over the “apparent lack of compliance with the Court’s order,” according to an after-action order filed by Sullivan. 

He did acknowledge the USPS postmaster’s efforts and would likely let them continue their operation in reference to the election.

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John James campaign accusing local officials of voter suppression and election interference in Michigan Senate race

November 5, 2020

DETROIT, MI- As Michigan continued to count ballots the day after Election Day, Republican John James’ Senate campaign accused local officials of impropriety, voter suppression, and election interference after incumbent Gary Peters picked up hundreds of thousands of votes overnight.

Fox News reported that James’ allegations came as chaos unfolded outside a vote tally room at the TCF Center in downtown Detroit where all mail-in absentee ballots were being collected. The chaos caused officials to place cardboard over the window in order to obstruct the public’s view as well as bar individuals from coming into the room.

Stuart Sandler, a consultant for James’ campaign, who also observed the count as a volunteer lawyer, told Fox News that they believe there were “a lot of irregularities” throughout the process that must be looked into. Sandler said in a statement:

“There were all kinds of chicanery, including ballots that came in reportedly in the middle of the night at 3:30 a.m. 35,000 ballots that were deceptively brought in.”

He added:

“There have been a lot of irregularities and lack of integrity. They’re not letting challengers in, they’re not letting them get food or water. When they do, they’re not letting them come back. There are all sorts of disruptions to the process.”

Up until the early mornings hours on Wednesday, November 4, James was holding a significant lead. Sandler has alleged that Mark Brewer, a former state Democratic chairman, organized the arrival of dozens of lawyers and activists to the TCF Center in order to “disrupt the process.” Sandler said:

“There’s a lack of integrity there. The people of Michigan made their choice and they’ve been trying to disrupt the process and we’re reviewing our options.”

However, Brewer insisted that the process of counting ballots has been the cleanest and most effective Detroit has ever had. He said in a statement to the Associated Press:

“This is the best absentee ballot counting operation that Detroit has ever had. They are counting ballots very efficiently, despite the obstructing tactics of the Republicans.”

Still, a source close to James’ campaign said:

“Poll challengers weren’t even able to get close enough to the ballot for the voter rolls to confirm that the ballots are credible, that people didn’t already vote.”

Previously, Michigan’s Secretary of State said she was expecting 2.5 million absentee ballots. However, by the morning of November 4th, a sourced alleged that that total increased to 5.6 million with the majority going up in places like Detroit.

Former State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, who is a registered poll watcher and was on the scene, told Fox News that what he witnessed was an “obfuscation and a complete lack of transparency.” He said in a statement:

“We’re being expressly denied the access to the ballot count area, at the most critical time. And you know, it’s very telling.”

He added:

“I can tell you right now, it’s not a free and fair election and I’ve been watching this for quite a while. So, get the word out, Democrats are attempting to steal the election and the best way to go off and fight back on this is to let people know what’s happening.”

The complaints from the James campaign follow the announcement from President Donald Trump’s campaign also alleging a lack of access to counting stations. Trump 2020 campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said in a statement:

“President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.”

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