Hundreds Of Military Ballots List Wrong VP Candidate
September 16, 2020
By Jon King / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of Michigan military and overseas ballots were downloaded from a state database Tuesday that incorrectly listed the wrong running mate for President Donald Trump.
The ballots listed Libertarian candidate Jeremy Cohen in the place of Vice President Mike Pence. The more than 400 incorrect ballots were intended to be mailed or emailed to Michigan residents living abroad under the Military and Overseas Empowerment (MOVE) Act. Local clerks' offices normally download them upon request from an overseas voter and then either mail them out or send them via email.
Brighton Township Clerk Joe Riker told The Detroit News that his office sent out two ballots that were incorrect, but then contacted the individual in question and let them know about the problem. Riker said the state has not provided much guidance on the issue and he’s heard about other clerks who also sent out incorrect ballots. A copy of a ballot sent to WHMI came from Genoa Township. (pictured)
A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said it was not clear how many of the more than 400 ballots were actually sent to voters before the error was discovered Tuesday afternoon and corrected. She also said clerks were provided a list of impacted voters, along with instructions on how to spoil ballots if necessary and a sample letter to help explain the error to voters.
She said "a temporary error" in the voter file data was to blame for the mistake and noted that if a voter happens to return the incorrect ballot, clerks have been instructed to duplicate a vote for Trump onto a Trump/Pence ballot.