Michigan officials have debunked a claim from the Trump campaign that a ballot was cast in the name of a late Michigan man named Mark D. Chase, who passed away in July 2016. The Trump campaign included the claim that ballots had been cast in Chase’s name on an affidavit filed with a lawsuit in which they seek to delay the official certification of the state’s election results. Delaying the official certification of state results could give the Trump team a last ditch chance to muddle the process even further, despite the fact that they have yet to produce meaningfully conclusive evidence anywhere in the country for their claims of widespread fraud.
The affidavit that the Trump campaign filed claiming that ballots had been cast in the name of the late Mark D. Chase was written up by his mother, Anita Chase, who says that she checked state computer databases and found that ballots had supposedly been cast in her son’s name in 2016 and 2020. In fact, the state explains, there are two currently living residents of Michigan with the name Mark D. Chase, one of whom is an active voter. Tracy Wimmer, a spokesperson for the office of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), characterized the issue as a case of confusion over “common names.”
According to state records, the voter registration for the late Mark D. Chase was cancelled in 2016, and a copy of state records recently reviewed by a Michigan news outlet did not reveal any currently active voters named Mark D. Chase who shared the late Michigander’s birthday.
Although the claim about ballots cast in the late Mark D. Chase’s name was the only claim of a “dead person voting” that was included with the new Trump lawsuit in Michigan, it’s not the first time that Republicans have claimed that ballots were cast in deceased people’s names. Their claims have fallen flat. Trump supporters have claimed ballots were cast in the names of late Michiganders by the names of William Bradley, Donna Brydges, and June Aiken — but these three voters are all alive. In Bradley’s case, his ballot had been mistakenly attributed to his late father of the same name in state computer records. In the cases of Brydges and Aiken, state records had shown inaccurate birthdays — but inaccurate birthdays are sometimes used as placeholders until correct information can be filled in.