Claims of rampant voter fraud in Michigan don't hold up to scrutiny

Posted at 10:34 PM, Nov 17, 2020

Two weeks after election day, supporters of the President continue to claim—without hesitation and proof—that the race is still in doubt.

Almost since Trump began to trail, state Republican leaders and self-proclaimed internet detectives have perpetuated claims of dead voters, suspicious ballot deliveries and wide-reaching conspiracies to claim the election—long ago called for Joe Biden—was stolen.

They have yet to provide any concrete proof.

“The media is going to have to be held accountable for pushing the narrative that Joe Biden is president elect,” said Patrick Colbeck, a former state senator who’s been pushing some of the wildest claims of voter fraud

Colbeck was an election challenger at the TCF Center in Detroit beginning on election night and claims in an affidavit that he witnessed computers being used by elections officials that were connected to the internet.

The Department of Elections refutes the claim entirely, and Colbeck has offered no proof beyond his own words. But he insists that it’s evidence of possible manipulation of the final results.

“I’m telling you,” Colbeck said, “it opens the door to a lot of games.”

A judge recently ruled that his “no evidence” supported Colbeck’s ‘claim.

Colbeck also insists that only fraud could explain how Donald Trump managed to get only 5% of the vote in Democratic-stronghold Detroit. He neglects to mention that four years earlier, Trump did much worse in the city.

“He got 3% in 2016,” said Channel 7’s Ross Jones. “This year he got 5%. If this is voter fraud, it looks like the worst voter fraud I’ve ever seen,” he said.

“A lot of people who are doing this are playing around with the margins,” Colbeck said.

“We’re going to see where those numbers came out.”

There are also widespread claims that a significant number of ballots belonging to dead people were cast on election day, swinging the race to Biden.

One viral Tweet making the rounds claimed that 14,000 dead voters in Wayne County somehow voted in this year’s election, including William Bradley who died in 1984.

7 Action News found Bradley at his home in Detroit, very much alive. He said he was familiar with the internet claim and noted he was, in fact, “alive and kicking.”

“I seen that (expletive) on the Internet,” he said, adding that family as far away as Texas had contacted him about it.

Turns out, this wasn’t proof of fraud but a clerical error instead. Bradley’s father, who shares the same first and last name, is dead but when his son requested an absentee ballot this year, it was recorded as belonging to his dad.

No one has produced proof that any ballots cast by a dead voter were counted.

And then, there are claims of mystery ballots delivered in the dark of night that swung the entire election. Depending on which version you hear, they were carried in a white van, a Chrysler 300, a Ferrari or some combination of the three.

The truth is there was an early-morning delivery, according to officials, and for good reason.

Once polls closed at 8 PM, workers made one last trip to collect ballots at drop boxes and Post Offices, then took them to the Department of Elections in Detroit’s New Center to be verified. Then, they brought them to TCF.

“Just because the polls closed at 8 o’clock, ballots are still received throughout the evening as they’re being processed,” said Jonathan Kinloch, Vice-Chair of the WayneCounty Board of Canvassers.

“The probability that the election outcome would be reversed is essentially zero,” said Ken Kollman, a professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan and an election expert.

The allegations produced so far don’t sway him.

“You can allege large-scale fraud,” he said. “But until there’s any concrete evidence shown, no judge…will believe you.”

So far, judges have ruled three times against lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign or his supporters attempting to stop the counting of votes or to certify this year’s election.