Did late night Michigan voting lines show fraud?

Michigan noticed document turnout for a midterm election this week, with management of the governor’s workplace and referendums on abortion and voting rights within the steadiness.

However with a heightened concentrate on voting issues and irregularities nationwide, Ann Arbor grew to become a goal for false data following experiences of lengthy traces of voters ready to forged ballots late into the evening Tuesday within the faculty neighborhood.

Elections officers, authorities watchdog teams and different consultants, nonetheless, stated the election course of was carried out based on state legislation.

Listed below are the details.

CLAIM: Metropolis officers in Ann Arbor have been registering new voters and permitting them to vote lengthy after the polls closed on Election Day.

THE FACTS: The false declare gained traction after a Republican candidate for Michigan secretary of state issued a prolonged assertion on social media singling out the vote in Ann Arbor — a liberal bastion that’s residence to the College of Michigan — as proof of election malfeasance.

“We won’t tolerate the lawlessness of the Ann Arbor metropolis clerk,” Kristina Karamo wrote in her Election Day tweet, which has since been preferred or shared greater than 1,200 occasions.

The Trump-endorsed Republican, who ended up dropping to incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, doubled down on her claims Thursday in a tweet that was additionally extensively shared.

“The Ann Arbor clerk is partaking in mass Election Crimes. Illegally registering individuals after 8pm,” one other Twitter consumer wrote, echoing the false declare. “They’re arrogantly breaking the legislation.”

However Michigan state legislation permits any particular person in line when polls shut at 8 p.m. to register to vote and to forged a poll, election officers and consultants informed The Related Press this week.

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“Though we are saying the polls are open till 8pm in MI, in case you are in line earlier than 8pm and keep in line you possibly can vote,” Sharon Dolente, a senior advisor for Promote the Vote, wrote in an electronic mail. “The identical is true if you want to register to vote first, as a way to vote.”

Promote the Vote, a coalition that features the NAACP, the League of Ladies Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union, coordinated an Election Day hotline and had a whole bunch of observers at polling places all through the state on Tuesday.

Dale Thomson, a political science professor on the College of Michigan in Dearborn, agreed, noting that Michigan voters in 2018 authorised same-day registration, that means voters can enroll as much as and together with on Election Day.

The Michigan Division of State, which oversees elections statewide, confirmed with Ann Arbor officers that every one voters registered after 8 p.m. had been in line earlier than polls closed and that every particular person was supplied a doc to confirm that, stated Jake Rollow, an company spokesperson.

“Eligible Americans have the constitutional proper to register to vote and vote, and if they’re in line on the 8 p.m. deadline on Election Day, they should be allowed to take action,” he wrote in an electronic mail.

Joanna Satterlee, a spokesperson for the town of Ann Arbor, stated the ready voters have been handed a “ticket” within the type of a clean utility to vote.

Solely these in line holding the applying have been permitted to register and vote, she stated. Employees have been additionally current to make sure nobody joined the traces after 8 p.m.

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Satterlee stated the town didn’t have a depend for what number of votes have been forged by these ready in line previous 8 p.m. on Tuesday, however that the final poll was issued shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

She stated the three voting places impacted have been Metropolis Corridor and two websites on the College of Michigan campus, the place a whole bunch of ready voters have been seen wrapped up in donated blankets and sipping on sizzling cocoa as temperatures dropped beneath 45 levels.

The U.S. Division of Justice, which posted election screens in different Michigan cities, declined to remark, and Karamo’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to messages this week.

However the secretary of state’s workplace stated it would work with metropolis officers, college directors and scholar leaders in Ann Arbor and different faculty communities to “determine and implement practices to stop such conditions” going ahead.

Michigan State College on Friday stated it skilled equally lengthy voting traces, with the final poll forged on its East Lansing campus at 12:09 a.m. Wednesday.

“Sadly, lengthy traces in some places, most frequently college cities, have been a problem in Michigan for years,” stated Dolente. “This was true earlier than identical day registration was adopted. Promote the Vote seems to be ahead to working with election officers to stop it from occurring sooner or later.”

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That is a part of AP’s effort to handle extensively shared misinformation, together with work with exterior firms and organizations so as to add factual context to deceptive content material that’s circulating on-line. Be taught extra about fact-checking at AP.

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