GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As Republicans raise alarms about the software used in Antrim County, where votes ultimately had to be counted by hand, the West Michigan-based company that makes the software says the problem was human error.
In early returns, it initially looked like Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had garnered more votes in Antrim County than Republican President Donald Trump. In a county that has long been a Republican stronghold, it was almost immediately apparent that something was wrong. The votes were recounted Wednesday and it was determined Trump did win in the county.
It turns out the mistake was an isolated incident linked to human error.
Kentwood-based ElectionSource, which created the election management software used in Antrim County, said in a Friday afternoon statement that said its program “performed exactly and accurately.” It also provided a statement from the Antrim County Clerk confirming the problem was a change made to the ballot by the clerk’s office.
“The Clerk’s Office has traced the cause of the original errors on the posted unofficial election results. Late in the election preparation process, a minor correction was made to a ballot that caused additional compounding changes to how the software totals and presented the data. The skewed unofficial results were a result of procedural misunderstanding that the Clerk’s Office had never before experienced. At no point did these skewed, unofficial results have any bearing on the Official numbers currently being reviewed by the Board of Canvassers. Both the Antrim County Clerk and ElectionSource have taken steps to adjust policies and procedures to ensure that a similar situation does not happen in the future.
“We continue to work hard to ensure the integrity of the election results, and we will learn and grow from this experience.”Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy via ElectionSource
ElectionSource added that it is working with the Antrim County clerk to prevent similar problems in the future.
The clerk in Kent County, which uses the same ElectionSource software, said she has every confidence in it and that the certification work being done now by the Board of Canvassers is backing that up.
“It’s becoming clear that what happened in Antrim County was human error in dealing with the software,” Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus Lyons, a Republican, said. “Humans make errors, and that’s why our checks and balances in our election process are so important.”
She also noted that the Michigan Republican Party also uses the ElectionSource software in its party elections.
While Posthumus Lyons agreed with Republican leaders that discrepancies should be investigated, she said the system is designed to identify them.
“It would have been caught by the canvass had it not been caught by the public,” Posthumus Lyons said.