A new report provided exclusively to The Federalist shows how Ann Arbor, Michigan election officials purportedly violated state law during the 2022 midterm elections.
Titled, “Ann Arbor compromises election integrity during 2022 Election,” the report issued by Michigan Fair Elections (MFE) and Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME) alleges numerous violations of state election law by county officials regarding issues such as voter registration and “discriminatory” practices. The report’s findings — which readers can examine below — are based on MFE and PIME’s review of open-source documents, information obtained via open records requests, and data from Michigan’s Qualified Voter File.
Among the notable issues raised in the analysis is Ann Arbor officials’ purported acceptance of tardy ballots and registering of voters past the state’s registration deadline. While Michigan law stipulates that “a person may apply in person at the clerk’s office before 8 p.m. on election day to vote as an absent voter,” time-stamped, voter history records reviewed by MFE and PIME allegedly show that more than 600 people — many of whom were college students registered at the University of Michigan’s (U-M) satellite registration offices — “were registered to vote absentee after the 8 p.m. election day deadline.”
Of these 600 late registrants, 120 purportedly cast absentee ballots the day after the 2022 election, on Nov. 9.
A screenshot of a voter history file obtained via open records request appears to show such a discrepancy. While the file description says the voter was registered on Nov. 8, 2022, the file’s time stamp indicates the voter was actually registered at 1:41 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2022.
The report goes on to contend that potential confusion among voters about where and when they were permitted to vote may have come from Michigan’s Democrat Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, who appears to have issued “erroneous guidance” to voters on Election Day.
Less than two hours before polls closed on Nov. 8, 2022, Benson tweeted, “Whether you’re at your precinct in line to vote or at your local clerk’s office in line to register and vote, as long as you are in line by 8p you can still register and vote.”
As noted by MFE and PIME, however, such guidance seemingly contradicts Michigan law, which essentially allows for Election Day in-person voting at polling places, but not at clerk’s offices or satellite registration offices.
“Eligible but unregistered individuals may register to vote at the clerk’s office,” the report reads. “They may pick up an absentee ballot at a clerk’s office. Often, drop boxes are nearby, allowing voters to deposit their absentee ballot in an approved secrecy sleeve before the 8 p.m. deadline. But no one votes in person at a clerk’s office.”
Additional issues raised by MFE and PIME include Ann Arbor’s purported use of “discriminatory and partisan practices” to register eligible voters. In the report, the groups document how Ann Arbor’s satellite registration offices were allegedly placed in locations where the local demographics were more likely to favor Democrats. A satellite image shows how Ann Arbor purportedly placed two clerk satellite registration offices on the U-M’s campus, one of which was seemingly located in the middle of U-M student housing locations.
Meanwhile, a separate image allegedly shows how such satellite offices were not similarly placed in close proximity to facilities such as senior living centers, “whose large numbers of residents,” MFE and PIME argue, “would tend to have greater difficulty reaching election locations.”
“According to data published on the Ann Arbor Clerk’s website, precincts containing at least one U-M student housing complex voted 94.7% for the Democratic candidate for governor in the November 2022 election,” the report claims. “Considering this propensity to vote for one party, the placement of the satellite offices begs the question: Were the locations selected for partisan reasons?”
Other alleged problems documented in the report include unlawful re-registration of voters and electioneering by local political parties.