By: Sam Doak
November 14 2022
In this instance, voters were allowed to participate if they arrived in line prior to the 8 p.m. deadline. This is not illegal.
On November 8 2022, Americans voted in the midterm elections. While the outcomes of races across the country are still being determined, in the days since the vote figures on the right have been pushing baseless claims concerning electoral fraud.
Among those who have alleged wrongdoing is Kristina Karamo, who was defeated in her bid to become Michigan's Secretary of State by incumbent Jocelyn Benson. On election day, Karamo took to Truth Social to post an open letter outlining what she characterized as illegal conduct perpetrated by election officials.
The primary claim in Karamo's letter is that officials in Ann Arbour allowed people to register and vote after the closing of polls at 8 p.m. In Karamo's view, allowing voters to register and cast their ballots after this deadline amounts to "lawlessness" that has the potential to "nullify" legally cast votes.
Since Karamo circulated her letter, State officials have refuted her claims concerning fraud and the 8 p.m. deadline at polling stations. Speaking to the Associated Press, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of State responded to the allegations, saying “eligible American citizens have the constitutional right to register to vote and vote, and if they are in line at the 8 p.m. deadline on election day, they must be allowed to do so.”
According to officials, it is legal to facilitate registration and voting after the closure of polls if the individuals concerned arrive and join the line before this time. In this instance, those who arrived before 8 p.m. were given blank registration documents to signify their arrival time and resultant eligibility to vote.
While allowing registration and voting after the time set for the closure of polls may seem unusual, this arrangement serves a well-defined purpose. It is not uncommon for voters to have to wait in line for long periods, and ensuring every eligible voter that arrives within the allotted time is allowed to participate prevents them from becoming disenfranchised through no fault of their own. This reality is recognized across the United States, and the American Civil Liberties Union advises "if the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote."
To date, there have been no credible reports of individuals arriving at Ann Arbour polling stations after 8 p.m. and being allowed to vote illegally.
While voters in Ann Arbour were allowed to vote after the closure of polling stations at 8 p.m., only those who were in line before this deadline were permitted to participate in this way. This arrangement is compatible with relevant state and federal requirements and does not constitute "illegality" under any reasonable interpretation of the term. This claim has therefore been marked as false.