Pres. Trump calls Secretary of State Benson a 'Democrat Trump Hater' after ballot error

Jocelyn Benson
Posted at 2:47 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 14:47:38-04

(WXYZ) — President Donald Trump called Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson a "Democrat Trump Hater" after a ballot mixup that left off the name of Vice President Mike Pence.

Oops: VP Mike Pence missing from some Michigan ballots

Local election clerks in Michigan downloading absentee ballots for residents overseas were given ballots that listed Trump’s Republican running mate as Jeremy Cohen, who is the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president, the Michigan Secretary of State’s office said.

A spokesperson for Benson's office issued the following statement, responding to the tweets:

"The President's tweet is false and misleading. As we have explained, the incident was a result of a programmer error and a computer glitch that was caught within 90 minutes. Any clerks who downloaded the errored ballot were immediately notified and told how to remedy the situation. Any voters who may have received an incorrect ballot will receive a correct ballot and their vote will count. In the case that a voter returns both the incorrect and the corrected ballot, only the corrected ballot will be counted."
Michigan Department of State spokesperson Jake Rollow

The statement reiterates the department's previous explanations stating it was a “temporary error” that was fixed within 90 minutes Tuesday, according to Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

“Approximately 400 ballots were downloaded by clerks during this period; we don’t know how many were sent,” Wimmer said.

Clerks were told to reissue correct ballots and tell voters to ignore the erroneous ballot if they received one.

Trump later asserted that it was not a mistake, and was "done illegally and on purpose."

“If a voter does happen to return the incorrect ballot instead of the correct ballot, it will still count. The clerk will be instructed to duplicate a vote for Trump onto a ballot for Trump/Pence,” Wimmer said.