Michigan Auditor General releases election report, says lawsuit can continue in court

‘We started doing it quarterly, so we do it on a set schedule regardless of whether there are elections that year or what type of elections they are’

A federal judge says a lawsuit claiming Michigan has 26,000 dead people on its voter rolls can continue in court for now. The audit done by the state Auditor General into the Bureau of Elections found that 99.1% of voter information in the Qualified Voter File matches the information in the Drivers License File. In addition, that audit found of the 11,725,987 votes cast in eight elections from May 2019 through November 2020, 2,775 were cast by deceased voters.

DETROIT – A federal judge says a lawsuit claiming Michigan has 26,000 dead people on its voter rolls can continue in court for now.

The audit done by the state Auditor General into the Bureau of Elections found that 99.1% of voter information in the Qualified Voter File matches the information in the Drivers License File.

In addition, that audit found of the 11,725,987 votes cast in eight elections from May 2019 through November 2020, 2,775 were cast by deceased voters.

Two thousand seven hundred thirty-four of those were by voters who died within 40 days of an election, which means it’s within the time period absentee ballots are sent out.

That audit also says the Bureau of Elections could do more to purge The QVF of the deceased, and it has.

In the past, what’s referred to as a “look back” was done prior to an election to make sure the QVF and the DLF were in sync.

“We started doing it quarterly, so we do it on a set schedule regardless of whether there are elections that year or what type of elections they are,” said Jake Rollow, Director of External Affairs for the Michigan Secretary of State.

Despite that audit and the numbers within, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is being sued by an Indianapolis-based legal group, The Public Interest Legal Foundation.

That group claims it did an analysis and found 26,000 dead people on Michigan’s voter rolls—those claims have not been proven. The non-profit filed its suit in federal court in Grand Rapids, and for now, the judge hearing the case is allowing it to move on.

That decision is not based on the merit of the claims but rather on procedural considerations.


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.