Michigan SOS explains delays in primary election results in Wayne County, other areas

Michigan voting machine.

Election results from Wayne County -- and perhaps other counties -- are delayed due to a modem issue, the county said. But the state says delays were expected.

The Michigan Primary Election was held on Tuesday, and results have been slow to come in for some areas, specifically in Wayne County, where only a handful of votes have been reported in key races.

Wayne County told Local 4:

Based on the recommendation of the Voluntary Voting Systems Guideline 2.0 issued by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, coupled with AT&Ts decision in March 2022 to no longer support 3G modems, 65 out of 83 Counties in Michigan are no longer modeming unofficial election results. This has significantly delayed the reporting process. We do not have a definitive time of when we will reach 100 percent reporting, but will continue to work throughout the evening and morning until this is achieved.

We reached out to the Michigan Secretary of State office -- here’s what they said:

Many Michigan counties are in the process of or have already phased out the use of modems to transmit election results from cities and townships to their county clerk’s office. This is being done in accordance with guidance issued by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission in order to prevent even a remote possibility of interference, and to counter misinformation that has been circulated concerning the use of modems. Obviously, it takes longer to drive election results physically from jurisdictions to county clerk offices, delaying the reporting of unofficial polling place results by the counties. However, in many counties, absentee ballot counting boards continue to count absentee ballots, where as many as half the ballots in those jurisdictions’ elections were cast via absentee. Polling place results that have been tabulated have been posted on the doors of polling places across the state and are available for public viewing. Some media outlets and other election results tracking organizations visit polling places directly to get these results as quickly as possible.

Delays were expected broadly, which we mentioned in the press conference, and on a few occasions prior, largely due to the volume of absentee ballots and the inability of clerks to begin processing them until polls opened today. But as I mentioned above, the physically taking results to the county clerk’s office does take more time, and that is to be expected, but that does not mean that polling place results were not completed and available publicly, just that they were not centrally available, via the counties, as quickly as they had been before.

We’re not sure which counties besides Wayne are impacted by this, but we’ll keep you posted.

You can track all of the results that are being reported right here.


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.