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Fact check: Six Michigan areas did not have voter turnouts of more than 100%

Social media users have been sharing posts which claim that in Michigan voter turnout exceeded 120% in six precincts or townships, with one registering a turnout of more than 700%. County website election results for these precincts show that these voter turnout figures are incorrect and the person who originally made these claims later said some of the figures were “excessive”.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Several posts show screenshots (here , here) of a tweet (here) , which says, “MICHIGAN: Six precincts recorded voter turnout at 120%. One reported at 721%.” Some posts contain the same text as the tweet (here , here) . Another post said, “Let’s hear it for the precinct in Michigan that surpassed the other precincts that had 100% voter turnout -Precinct of ‘North Muskegon,’ has a 781% voter turnout, surpassing its rival of Zeeland Charter Township Precinct, that had a 460% voter turnout. Truly truly truly unbelievable.” (here)

The articles shared alongside the social media posts (here , here), show that the information comes from an affidavit (see page 3 here ) from Russell James Ramsland, Jr. (a cyber security analyst and former Republican congressional candidate), shared on social media by Republican congressman Bill Posey (here).

The affidavit belongs to the King et al. v Whitmer et al. lawsuit, filed by ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, asking the court to force the Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to overturn the Michigan U.S. presidential election results and award the state to Trump.

The King et al. v Whitmer et al. lawsuit was rejected (here , here , here) . Powell’s appeal is currently pending in the U.S. Appellate Court for the 6th Circuit (here).

On Dec. 14, The Electoral College confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the presidential election by 306 votes to Trump’s 232, the same margin by which Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump has refused to concede and continues to promote his baseless voting fraud allegations, which have been repeatedly rejected by state and federal officials (here , here) .

Election data

County election data from Michigan shows that the six voter turnout figures in the affidavit that are above 100% are incorrect. The table in the affidavit ? shows that voter turnout in the City of North Muskegon, Muskegon County was 781.91%, and the social media posts say that this figure is 721%, without giving an explanation. The two precincts in the City of North Muskegon had a turnout of 73.53% and 82.21%, making an average of 77.78% (see grey tab before the green tables on pages 466 and 467 here).

Zeeland Charter Township, Ottawa County, which the affidavit said had a voter turnout of 460.51%, has four precincts which had turnouts of 74.46%, 80.35%, 80.84%, and 84.80%, making an average of 80.11% (see grey tab before the green tables on pages 919, 927, 937 and 945 here ) .

Grout Township, Gladwin County, had a turnout of 67.23%, not 215.21% (see page 2 here ) .

The City of Muskegon in Muskegon County did not have a turnout of 205.07% as the affidavit said. The City of Muskegon is divided into 14 precincts which had turnouts of 52.65%, 60.24%, 50.97%, 51.66%, 45.97%, 44.69%, 53.73%, 44.15%, 42.77%, 57.02%, 60.19%, 70.94%, 68.14% and 83.72% (see pages 315, 323, 331, 339, 347, 355, 363, 371, 379, 387, 395, 403, 411 and 419 here ). This makes an average voter turnout of 56.20%.

Voter turnout in the City of Detroit was 50.88%, not 139.29% as the affidavit said (here) .

Spring Lake Township, in Ottawa County, which the affidavit said had a turnout of 120%, has six precincts with the following turnouts: 72.65%, 82.18%, 77.03%, 81.91%, 84.15% and 66.74%. This makes an average turnout of 77.44% (see pages 779, 788, 797, 807, 817 and 826 here ).

In a second affidavit filed in the King v Whitmer lawsuit, Ramsland said the figures were incorrect and also said that the source of the data had inexplicably disappeared, “Dr Rodden was correct in his noting of excessive turnout figures listed in my affidavit for some precincts in MI based on new data from Michigan. The source of that original data was State level data that no longer exists or [sic] some unexplained reason.” (here)

Reuters has shown that other allegations of election fraud in Michigan are false:(here , here , here).

VERDICT

False. County election results show that voter turnout did not exceed 100% in six Michigan areas highlighted in an affidavit.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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