Skip to main content

Michigan Officials Debunk Dead Voter Claims in Trump Campaign’s Latest Lawsuit


President Donald Trump continues to wage lawsuits aimed that are supposedly aimed at proving widespread voter fraud and overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election. To put it mildly, it’s not going well for the president.

In a federal lawsuit filed in the Western District of Michigan on Wednesday, Trump alleged massive voting irregularities—ranging from votes of the dead being counted to count-watchers being prevented from witnessing the count. Although Team Trump may be seeing dead people, elections authorities sure aren’t.

In the complaint, a Michigan voter, Anita Chase, submitted an affidavit stating that she reviewed voting records and discovered that her deceased son voted in the 2020 election.  Based on information provided by Michigan, however, that allegation is demonstrably false.

Tracy Wimmer, a spokesperson for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s (D) office, told Bridge Michigan that Mark D. Chase, who was born in 1978 and who died in 2016, was listed as living at the same address as his mother. That Mark D. Chase last voted in 2014, and his voter registration was cancelled in 2016 (which matches an online obituary date). Two other individuals also named Mark D. Chase are listed in Michigan’s Qualified Voter File. Both were born in different years than Anita Chase’s son, and each lives in a different county. The logical inference, therefore, is that the Mark D. Chase who voted was not Anita Chase’s son, but rather, another Michigan voter with the same name.

Mr. Chase isn’t the only Michigan voter whose life or death has been called into question by Trump campaign lawyers. William Bradley of Wayne county, for example, was named online as “dead” and “trying to steal the election.” In actuality, Mr. Bradley is alive and well in Detroit; his father, however, with whom he shared a name, died in 1984.

Donna Brydges, 75, was another Michigan voter called into question, because her birthday was listed in the Qualified Voter file as Jan. 1901.

As it turns out, though, 1/1/1901 was simply a placeholder date used when paper registration records went electronic and Brydges’s actual birthdate was unknown.

Michigan isn’t the only state in which the Trump officials have called into question the identity and eligibility of voters. After Trump campaign co-chair Adam Laxalt alleged voter fraud in Nevada, two military spouses spoke out. Their names had been on lists of those allegedly submitting illegal ballots–but they had been properly registered and  were qualified to vote (read more about that here).

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt also looked into allegations that dead voters had “cast” votes in the election.

Schmidt, the Republican co-chair overseeing Philadelphia elections, told CNN that he has “seen most fantastical things on social media, making completely ridiculous allegations that have no basis in fact at all and seen them spread.” He continued to explain that a report alleging that “a long list of people” said that there “were dead voters who voted in Philadelphia.” When Philadelphia officials looked up the voting histories, though, “Not a single one of them voted in Philadelphia after they died.”

Schmidt said it was alarming how hungry people are to consume lies.

In addition to making seemingly unsubstantiated claims about dead voters, Trump’s Michigan lawsuit alleges that several election challengers were prevented from watching the vote count. “At least three challengers said they were physically pushed away from counting tables by election officials to a distance that was too far to observe the counting,” read one allegation.

Challenger Pauline Montie claimed in an affidavit that she was prevented from viewing the computer monitor because election workers kept pushing it further away and made her stand back away from the table. Articia Bomer stated, “I witnessed election workers open ballots with Donald Trump votes and respond by rolling their eyes and showing it to other poll workers. I believe some of these ballots may not have been properly counted.” Under the law, however, failure of election authorities to allow witness access to vote counting does not amount to voter fraud.

The Trump legal team has already suffered several losses in Michigan state courts over his elections lawsuits lacking evidence. On Wednesday, David Fink, an attorney for Detroit, said that the various pro-Trump attempts to overturn the election results are like an unfunny version of “Groundhog Day.”

Read the latest Trump complaint below:

[image via BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime:

Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos