Typing Error Launches Accusations of Voter Fraud

Incorrect Michigan map was eventually tweeted by the president
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2020 7:40 AM CST
Voter Fraud Claims in Michigan Were Based on a Typo
Election officials huddle around a table as absentee ballots are processed at the central counting board in Detroit on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Anonymous social media accounts shared an electoral map of Michigan containing false information on Wednesday before the president did so twice. "WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?" President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, sharing the map that showed 138,000 ballots had suddenly been added, all in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. As CNN reports, the image was a screenshot of a map from election tracker Decision Desk HQ, which later acknowledged an error in data submitted from Shiawassee County. A county clerk confirmed there had been a typing error when votes were entered for Biden, and that it was corrected within 30 minutes. But Decision Desk HQ didn't comment on the fix for several hours. In the meantime, the screenshot was shared on a QAnon forum on platform 8Kun, then by anonymous accounts on Twitter.

It was boosted by right-wing websites, one of which claimed voter fraud. The map reached Trump through conservative personality Matt Walsh, who had shared a tweet from Matt Mackowiak, a Texas GOP county chairman. Mackowiak later deleted the tweet, explaining "the MI update referenced was a typo in one county." Trump deleted his tweets, too, but without explanation. CNN reports the map was included in 14,000 tweets by afternoon. Twitter said it marked the tweets, including Trump's, as "disputed," though Vox found some without the label. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson later called on the media and public "to help us ensure accurate data and information is what is discussed in the ecosystem right now as opposed to false or misleading claims." (Another false claim about ballots spread in Arizona.)

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