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An Ann Arbor Absentee Ballot Counter Shares An Insider's View Of The Experience

Nov 9, 2020

University of Michigan economics Ph.D candidate Evelyn Smith
Credit Evelyn Smith

With the results of the presidential election unofficially declared, saying Joe Biden is believed to be the next President of the United States, there are questions and legal challenges being presented to those voting results.  Concerns are being raised in several political corners about alleged election voter count fraud.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Evelyn Smith, a University of Michigan Ph.D candidate in economics, who volunteered on Election Day counting absentee ballots in Ann Arbor.


The headline given to Evelyn's absentee vote counting experience in the Washington Post was "I counted votes in Michigan.  There's no way to commit fraud."  She says they were sequestered in an Ann Arbor high school for 13 hours on Election Day and were not allowed to leave or bring in their cell phones.  This was her first time as election volunteer, and she says she believes 100 percent there was no way those votes could be tampered with.  

The Washington Post writing: 

"Those claims are totally detached from reality — from the painstaking, tedious process of accounting for and tabulating every ballot.  The count involves so many steps, so many layers of double-checking and supervision, that it would be virtually impossible to fake even a single ballot.  It’s dangerous to suggest that anyone could fake enough ballots to change the result.  From my experience, it’s also totally absurd."

Smith said there were voters from both the Democratic and Republican parties involved in the count and an election challenger also nearby asking questions and overseeing the process.

Smith said she finds it very difficult to believe that the level--any level--of voter count fraud could be possible in all the states where the count is being challenged and said the process is easy to learn about and follow by contacting your local election official.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu