An audit of state voting records released Tuesday uncovered evidence suggesting dead people and prisoners may have voted in Michigan elections during the past three years. Auditor General Thomas McTavish’s office compared the state’s registered voter files with death records and found 1,375 deceased individuals cast 1,381 ballots between 2008 and 2011. Ninety percent of the ballots were cast by absentee voters and 10 percent voted at the polls, according to audit report. In response to the audit, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office said no voter fraud was at play, and instead attributed instances where records show incarcerated or deceased individuals voting as an error by local election clerks. Some of the individuals may have legally cast an absentee ballot and died before the election, election officials said.
The audit also matched incarceration and voting records and found 48 individuals who were imprisoned at the time voted 52 times during the audited time period of Oct. 1, 2008, through June 9, 2011. The auditor general’s office matched those records with the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of inmates, according to the report.
The names and birth dates of another 65 prisoners also matched records of 68 votes cast, but state auditors said they were unable to match Social Security numbers. McTavish’s office recommends the Secretary of State’s office further investigate those votes cast to determine if they were in fact prisoners. For both groups of inmates, someone voted in person under their name 85 percent of the time, according to the report.