Late Sunday night, we broke a story that at least a couple of Michigan news stations had leaked what seemed to be 2022 Primary results in Michigan on their website.
This explosive revelation went viral online.
The next day, the Michigan Dept. of State released a “Fact Check” on the leaked primary numbers:
“Online sites that regularly spread conspiracy theories, misinformation and other falsehoods have unsurprisingly seized on this as evidence of something nefarious when it is nothing more than human error by an organization that has nothing to do with election administration.”
FACT CHECK: Supposed “results” of the upcoming Michigan primary election on Google are the result of a testing error by a media organization and are not true https://t.co/GKEZu1HhTn pic.twitter.com/z7D4j6o5iO
— Michigan Department of State (@MichSoS) July 25, 2022
As mentioned in a follow-up article on Monday, Georgia also had the same issue come up prior to their primary in late May. Following Georgia’s miscue, Michigan had two stations on Sunday that did the same thing and somehow managed to publish the results “live”. Despite Channel 3 WWMT’s “regrettable human error”, nothing seems to have been learned from their peers.
Two days since that “hiccup”, we now have a third station publishing results:
According to Justin Barclay, on Tuesday, July 26th FOX 17 joined a growing list of organizations that have gone “live” with test election results that use realistic vote totals, accurate candidate names and races, and do not show a disclaimer of any sort suggesting this is a test:
Another Michigan TV station has pre-election results posted on their website.
How are these guys not more careful here?
— Justin Barclay (@MrJustinBarclay) July 26, 2022
What’s particularly interesting about the FOX 17 leak is that the numbers have changed. *Fact Check Diversion Inbound: Why did FOX 17 get a different set of test numbers from the AP? And why isn’t more focus being put on ensuring this data isn’t published after numerous past blunders as recent as last weekend?
At some point, someone needs to begin asking serious questions. The data mistakenly being published “live” is deeply concerning. Much like wildly inaccurate polling data, inaccurate results being posted could deter a voter from supporting a “lost cause”, such as the perception created that John Gibbs garnered 25% of the vote vs Peter Meijer at 75%, who is wildly unpopular with Trump supporters after voting to impeach him as his first official vote in Congress in January 2021.
After a disastrous 2020 election that severed the trust in arguably our most significant right, the efforts to ensure the 2022 election goes off without a hitch should be a top priority. With a Risk Limiting Audit in Michigan in 2020 that only looked at 0.3% of the ballots and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent fighting against a lawsuit to hand count down-ballot races in Antrim County, a county with only appx. 22,000 ballots, the assurances are unlikely to come after the election.
So you may better grasp the absurdity of a 0.3% “Risk Limiting Audit”, consider this: if a bank “audits” $55,000 worth of $100 bills, they would look at less than two of the $100 bills to ensure the rest are all $100 bills, that the count is accurate and that each bill is authentic. No bank would ever accept that. Never. But Michiganders have to.
With random shut downs in the middle of the night, the seemingly biased removal of republican observers, the boarding up of windows to conceal vote counting, ballot counting for days and weeks after Election Day, trucks delivering ballots with no known chain of custody late into the night, and an insulting 00.3% of ballots “audited” in Michigan, this is a terrible start to ensuring the 2022 election restores any faith in the voter.
And rather than address the issue, the MI Dept of State has hedged their bets on the “disinformation” battle cry.