To hear some people tell it — including a handful of prominent Republicans, such as members of President Trump’s family and supporters like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell — you might think that Democrats were using dead people to steal Michigan’s Electoral College votes from Trump.
But, like much of the misinformation circulated online this week by some Trump supporters, the claim falls apart under scrutiny. A CNN analysis of the claim and the purported backing for it did not find a single instance of that happening.
One of the supposed pieces of evidence was a list that circulated on Twitter Thursday evening allegedly containing names, birth dates, and zip codes for registered voters in Michigan. The origin of the list and the identity of the person who first made it public are not known.
CNN examined 50 of the more than 14,000 names on the list by taking the first 25 names on the list and then 25 more picked at random. We ran the names through Michigan’s Voter Information database to see if they requested or returned a ballot. We then checked the names against publicly available records to see if they were indeed dead.
Of the 50, 37 were indeed dead and had not voted, according to the voter information database. Five people out of the 50 had voted — and they are all still alive, according to public records accessed by CNN. The remaining eight are also alive but didn’t vote.The sample CNN reviewed is not representative, but the trend was clear — not a single one of the names examined was of a dead person voting.The version of the list CNN found has since been removed from the site hosting it.