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Claims of voter fraud in Traverse City don’t add up

Screenshot from YouTube


An unsubstantiated video is alleging voter fraud at a post office in Traverse City. 



The clip, which has amassed almost 1 million views on YouTube, shares an interview with a postal worker whose voice has been modulated. He describes being instructed to take late mail-in ballots that arrived Wednesday and postmark them for Election Day. “It screams corruption,” the worker says. 

But county clerk Bonnie Scheele explains the accusation doesn’t make sense. In Michigan, absentee ballots aren’t counted if they don’t make it to the local clerk’s office by 8 pm on Election Day. 

“It’s too late anyway,” she says. “Whatever postmark they put on there doesn’t matter because they weren’t in the clerk’s hands.”

And the source of the video raises questions about its veracity. It was posted by a group called Project Veritas, a far-right propaganda organization “masquerading as a journalistic outfit,” says Charles Seife, a journalism professor at New York University. “It really is functionally just a political dirty tricks organization.”  

The group has a history of trying to prove that voter fraud is rampant. “They’ve been at this for a decade, without any success really,” says Seife. 

The Postal Service has taken the allegations seriously, though. Inspectors from the Office of the Inspector General visited the branch office Thursday, according to 9&10 News.

Lexi Krupp reports on science and the environment. Previously, she worked for Gimlet Media where she helped the Science Vs team distinguish what's fact from what's not. Her work has appeared in Audubon, Popular Science, VICE, and elsewhere.