Clinton Township voting error caused by Macomb County clerk, city clerk says

Human error is not evidence of fraud, Jocelyn Benson

The city clerk in Clinton Township is blaming Macomb County for 10 voters who cast ballots this year but died before the election.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The city clerk in Clinton Township is blaming Macomb County for 10 voters who cast ballots this year but died before the election.

Michigan state law is clear. If someone dies before 8 p.m. on Election Day, their vote does not count.

In Clinton Township, it turns out 10 people who cast their ballots but died before the election had their votes counted because the deaths weren’t reported.

According to the city clerk Kim Meltzer, she was sent death certificates for those voters on Nov. 6 -- three days after the election. All of them passing away between Oct. 9-26.

Meltzer, who did not respond to requests for an interview, is quoted in reports blaming the Macomb County clerk’s office, who chose to use the postal service to notify her office instead of using email. At the time the deaths happened, Detroit had the slowest mail delivery in the country, according to USPS data.

In a statement released Thursday, Macomb County clerk Fred Miller said the 10 voters were part of 30 death certificates in the county’s normal monthly report to city clerks so they can strike voters from state rolls. Miller said that because of timing an.d state voting laws, there wasn’t a way from stopping those votes from counting.

Miller said there was no possible way to identify the ballots of the deceased since identifying ballot numbers are printed on detachable stubs, which are removed prior to a tabulation to ensure the anonymity of each voter.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson dispelled the idea that these cases are evidence of vote fraud.

“What this is again is human error,” Benson said. “Our clerks are human. They are well intended, highly ethical, committed to democracy leaders but also mistakes occur.”

Miller said the incident prompted his office to start reviewing its practices, including timing, and he’ll make recommendations to the incoming clerk.

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About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.