Technical problems related to widely-used election software gave thousands of votes for President Donald Trump to Democrat challenger Joe Biden in one Michigan county and caused Election Day delays in Georgia.
Antrim county results skewed, then fixed
The wildly inaccurate result in Antrim County, Michigan, flipped the deep-red county to Biden by a swing of at least 6,000 votes before the error was noticed and the results were revised, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Michigan state officials blamed the glitch on a clerical error, saying that the county clerk failed to update the software properly.
Software delays in Georgia
Problems with the software also caused voting machines in two Georgia precincts to crash after polls opened on Tuesday and delayed the counting of ballots in a third county.
Machines in Spalding and Morgan counties, both of which voted Republican by large margins, crashed right as the polls opened on Tuesday. The crashes were blamed on a software update performed the day before, Politico reported. The machines were down for hours, and technicians had to be called in from off-site to get them up and running again.
“That is something that they don’t ever do. I’ve never seen them update anything the day before the election,” elections supervisor at Spalding County Board of Election Marcia Ridley told Politico.
Glitches caused big problems
The state kept polling places in those counties open until 11 p.m. to compensate for the lost voting time, but there’s no guarantee everyone who scheduled their time to be able to vote early in the morning could come back later to get their vote counted.
In Gwinnett County, a glitch with the same software caused a delay in counting an estimated 80,000 mail-in ballots, which were pushed through the machine even though officials knew some of the votes might not be counted correctly, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. The Gwinnett Daily Post reported that 3,200 batches of ballots were affected by the glitch, and that around 7,000 of those were rejected by the system and had to be counted by hand.
Vote integrity matters
Given the multiple problems related to this software, it is essential that all of the votes in the areas that used it be recounted by hand to ensure that there are no other errors. This would be an enormous undertaking, but could start with contested states like Michigan and Georgia to see if other errors were found.
Currently, only 10,000 votes separate Biden and Trump in Georgia with military ballots yet to be counted. Traditionally, recounts have not succeeded in changing thousands of votes, but this election could be different, according to Newsmax commentator Dick Morris, who pointed out that states have not finished counting or certified election results yet.
Mail-in ballots are more likely to be rejected in recounts, and this election had record-high numbers of mail-in ballots, Morris said. Additionally, mail-in ballots went to Biden by large margins, so Biden’s vote count would be likely to decrease under a recount scenario.