Trump makes false Detroit turnout claim on call with Georgia officials


President Donald Trump reiterated dubious claims about Michigan’s election as he pressured Georgia officials to scrap their state’s outcome over the weekend.

In a phone call with Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger, Trump falsely claimed the turnout in Detroit was 139%, according to an audio recording of the hour-long Washington Post call on Sunday. The actual voter turnout in Detroit was 51%, according to official results from the City Clerk’s Office.

A data analysis previously published by Texas-based Russell Ramsland – Ramsland was quoted in a lawsuit initiated by supporters of the President – incorrectly said that a Detroit district had a turnout of 139%, but it is unclear how he related to that number came and which district he focused on. Ramsland’s analysis also incorrectly found that there were several counties in Muskegon County with more than 100% turnout, including one with a 781% turnout.

Muskegon County election coordinator Jeanne Pezet told The Detroit News last month that there is no chance a county board of Canvassers will allow a district with a 781% turnout to be certified.

The highest district turnout in Wayne County’s official results was 88% in District 4 of Brownstown Township.

Trump, who has tried to discredit election results in Michigan and other battlefield states, spoke on Detroit’s turnout after telling Georgia election officials that there was “turmoil” elsewhere.

“You are not the only one,” said Trump in the call on Saturday. “I mean, we have other states that I think will be joining us shortly.”

He went on to talk about Detroit, Michigan’s largest city and a democratic stronghold. The incumbent Republican lost Michigan on November 3, two months ago, by 154,000 votes to President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat.

The Board of State Canvassers upheld the result, and on December 14, the state’s 16 presidents officially cast their votes for Biden.

“In Detroit, I think we voted 139% of the people,” Trump told election officials in Georgia. “That’s not so good.”

According to the official Detroit results, 257,619 voters voted out of 506,305 registered voters.

This screenshot shows the Detroit turnout percentage for the November 3, 2020 elections, according to the city's official results.

Minutes later, during the call, Trump made an unsubstantiated claim that “voted an enormous number” of the dead in Michigan. The president didn’t cite a source for the comment, but said he thought the number was about 18,000.

“That was painstakingly checked by going through the obituary columns in the newspapers,” he said.

A “fact-checking” conducted by the Michigan Secretary of State Office states that “there is not a single confirmed case known to show that a ballot was actually cast on behalf of a deceased person.”

“Ballot papers from deceased voters are rejected in Michigan, even if the voter cast a postal vote and then died before election day,” said the fact-checking. “Those who make other claims are wrong, and the lists that claim they do are incorrect.”

Lists of “dead voters” compiled and shared on social media do not contain enough information to “accurately compare” names to the state’s qualified voter record, fact-checking adds.

Michigan employees have caught 3,469 cases where a voter legally cast a ballot while he was alive but then died before election day.

On December 7, Michigan Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel said her office had failed to find credible information about self-isolated electoral fraud carried out successfully in the November 3 election.

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