Trust Index: Fact-checking Trump’s false claims of Michigan voter fraud in Georgia phone call

No legal way to overturn election results in Michigan

DETROIT – During a call with Georgia election officials President Donald Trump made a slew of claims about the results of the 2020 White House race.

Some of the claims were directly about the results in Michigan and Detroit, and others focused on the election overall.

Read: Full transcript of Trump’s call with Georgia election chief

Here is one claim from the president which has been spread far and wide since the election.

“In Detroit, I think it was 139 percent of the people voted,” said Trump on the call.

This is not true based on simple math.

According to the bipartisan certified data from the city, more than 506,000 people were registered to vote in Detroit. A little over 256,000 votes were cast. That comes out to roughly 50 percent of people who voted.

This claim was also made by election worker Melissa Carone during her infamous hearing in the Michigan House. Those who continue to make this claim have pointed to her testimony as proof, but it is still false.

Next is a claim that’s been tested before too, but with a new twist.

“In Michigan, a tremendous number of dead people that voted, I think it was, I think Mark it was 18,000,” Trump said addressing Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

This is also not true.

This lie was told in the days after the election as well although then it was 14,000 so the President added 4,000 more mystery dead voters.

He’s likely referring to a list that was circulated online with names claiming to be dead voters. After investigations into that list most of the people were found to still be alive, mixed up with voters of the same name, marked with a placeholder birthday, which has been a common practice for decades, or were entirely made up.

Related: Trust Index: Fact-checking claims regarding Michigan’s 2020 election

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office also debunked this claim explaining votes are double checked and voters who died before the polls close are rejected. There was a single case of 10 votes from dead voters in Clinton Township after the slow delivery of death records from the county, but there is no evidence or claims that happened in other counties or towns.

Finally, from the phone call, this one about the overall elections.

“We have other states that I believe will be flipping to us very shortly,” added Trump on the call.

It’s unclear if the president is talking about Michigan, but since it is one of the states the White House and some Republicans are contesting, we’ll test this too.

It is not true.

There is no legal way to overturn the election results in Detroit or the State of Michigan. The results have been certified at both state and local levels and upheld in state and federal courts after repeated attempts to overturn the election.

In one attempt over the weekend the president’s campaign tweeted out the phone numbers and emails of Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and former Speaker of the State House, Lee Chatfield.

Chatfield’s number was incorrect. In the tweet the campaign demanded the two GOP officials, “hear the evidence, correct false statements [and] demand a vote on decertification.”

There have been repeated court hearings with “evidence” brought by Trump’s legal team and his supporters, which have been thrown out by judges on multiple levels.

The state legislature has also held a number of hearings about the election process which have not found any evidence of widespread fraud.

It’s unclear which statements the president’s campaign would like to see corrected, although they would presumably be factual statements made about President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

As noted before, there is no way to decertify the results of the election after Michigan’s members of the Electoral College cast their votes on Dec. 14.

A group of GOP activists who were not elected on Nov. 3 did attempt to have their illegitimate votes certified by a judge in Texas over the weekend. That judge dismissed the case late Friday evening.


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.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.