As media started airing the news of Biden's win over Trump in the US elections, a section of people started floating conspiracy theories claiming fraud in counting process. Continuing their theories of voter fraud, Republicans claimed that Dominion Voting Systems handed Trump votes to Biden at Antrim County in Michigan. In fact, here is what happened.
Dominion Voting Systems is a company that sells voting machines and software to the United States and Canada. The claim that there was problem during counting in Antrim County is true. But the claim that Dominion Voting Systems malfunctioned, resulting in turning Trump votes in favor of Biden is false.
The claim was first made by Michigan GOP Chairwoman Laura Cox at a press conference. She said, software "glitch" in one Michigan County switched thousands of votes for President Donald Trump to votes for President-Elect Joe Biden. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also supported the claim. Trump was also quick in sharing an article on the glitch written by right-wing propaganda site Breitbart.
Michigan Election Officials Debunk Theory
But the Michigan election officials have debunked this theory. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said that though a problem in counting was encountered in Antrim County, it was a human error. The local authorities caught and reported the problem early on in the vote tabulating process, so the error was never reflected in the state's official results.
She also clarified that a clerk had delayed updating the software that tabulated the votes. But the problem was soon rectified and said that existing election safeguards worked as intended and ensured the issue was swiftly corrected before the county submitted its official tally.
Understanding the process of how tabulation works will make the issue clear.
- In the first step, voters submit their ballots
- Voting machines scan and retain them
- After processing these ballots, each machine prints out its final tally of votes for each candidate in each race
- Officials then aggregate the printed totals with the help of election management system software
Truth Behind Miscalculation
But in Antrim County there was miscalculation while combining the totals even though the machine had tabulated the ballots correctly. "As with other unofficial results reporting errors, this was an honest mistake and did not affect any actual vote totals. Election clerks work extremely hard and do their work with integrity. They are human beings, and sometimes make mistakes. However, there are many checks and balances that ensure mistakes can be caught and corrected," said Benson.
The tabulation process is effective and even if an error is reported during announcing the unofficial results, it would surely get identified during the county canvass. Boards of County Canvassers have two Democrats and Republicans each, who review the printed totals received from each tabulator during the canvass and verify the reported vote totals are correct. Thus there is no chance that a faulty tabulated count will be considered during the announcement of official totals.
Benson also said that the claim that county had to hand count all their ballots is also false. Instead, the truth is that the county reviewed the printed tabulator results from each precinct, not each individual ballot. Also reacting to the claims that Republicans were not allowed to observe the vote count, Benson said: "hundreds of challengers from both parties were inside their absent voter counting board all afternoon and evening."