Report debunks Michigan dead voters conspiracy theory

November 11, 2020, 9:02 AM

You may have seen the viral posts that suggested people were casting additional absentee ballots under the names of dead people.

William Bradley, who Secretary of State records showed was 118 years old and registered in Detroit, was said to be one of the names used. But in fact, a Bridge Michigan investigation finds it was his son, William Bradley, Jr., who voted, and an apparent clerical error that had his vote count as one for his father, who died decades ago. The mistake has since been corrected.

Bridge digs into the other 'dead' people Trump supporters saw:

(Donna Brydges) is 75 years old, but the Qualified Voter File listed her birthdate as Jan. 1, 1901, which would have made her 119 years old, an unlikely age that fueled the pro-Trump claim that dead voters had cast ballots here.

In reality, 1/1/1901 was a default date likely used when the township first transferred paper registration records into the computer system years ago, Hamlin Township Clerk Catherine Lewis told Bridge Michigan.

Placeholder dates are "occasionally used if a registration exists but the exact birthday of the voter is not known by the local clerk," added Tracy Wimmer, a spokesperson for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

When Brydges became a central figure in the internet conspiracy theory, officials checked her driver's license records and confirmed that she was born in 1945.

June Aiken, meanwhile, a Jackson County woman who Trump supporters said had also died, is a regular voter with a different middle name than the woman listed in a widely shared obituary.

Read more:  Bridge Michiugan

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