A tweet next to Joe Biden

Gage Skidmore/Flickr Essential Fleccas/Twitter Mikael Thalen

Video claims deceased 118-year-old voted for Biden in Michigan—he didn’t

As usual, a logical explanation quickly debunked the viral claim.

Nov 5, 2020, 1:56 pm*

Tech

 

Mikael Thalen

A video going viral online alleges to prove that a vote was cast for Democratic candidate Joe Biden using a deceased man’s identity in Michigan.

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The footage, which has been shared more than 10,000 times on Twitter, shows an individual checking the voter status of a man born in 1902 on the Michigan Voter Information Center website.

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After entering the man's personal information—such as his name, birth year, and zip code—the website indicates that the deceased person not only received a ballot but was able to vote as well.

The video's author also goes on to claim, without evidence, that the deceased man, who would be 118 years old at the time of the election, was undoubtedly used to cast a vote for Biden.

The voter record appears to have first been promoted by "Fleccas," a popular right-wing figure known for his man-on-the-street videos.

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So are any of the claims in the video true?

The Daily Dot was able to locate the man's voter information by reproducing the steps in the video. Voter information is in fact available for a 118-year-old man named Bradley Williams.

But according to Logically, an organization that monitors misinformation, the voter record, as well as two others promoted online, are for real people.

"We found that all three people are alive and most likely are relatives of the people born in the early 1900s and inherited relatives' names," Logically fact-checker Devika Khandelwal wrote.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State also provided a statement to BuzzFeed News indicating that the video did not prove a dead individual had voted.

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"Ballots of voters who have died are rejected in Michigan, even if the voter cast an absentee ballot and then died before Election Day," the spokesperson said. "On rare occasions, a ballot received for a living voter may be recorded in a way that makes it appear as if the voter is dead. This can be because of voters with similar names, where the ballot is accidentally recorded as voted by John Smith Sr when it was actually voted by John Smith Jr; or because of inaccurately recorded birth dates in the qualified voter file; for example, someone born in 1990 accidentally recorded as born in 1890."

The spokesperson added that election clerks correct such issues when it's brought to their attention and that "no one ineligible has actually voted, and there is no impact on the outcome of the election."

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*First Published: Nov 5, 2020, 1:52 pm