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Sofia Ahmed
By Sofia Ahmed February 29, 2024

No, 50% of Biden’s Michigan vote was not unverified mail-in votes

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  • Michigan voters must be registered with proof of identification to apply for absentee ballots. 

  • Clerks verify that every signature on an absentee ballot matches with a signature on record.

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After Michigan’s 2024 primary presidential election, unsubstantiated claims of absentee ballot voter fraud surfaced on social media. 

"Fifty percent of the vote was mail-in, unverified, no signature, no ID, no chance for election fraud," a man featured in one Instagram reel said as he discussed how many votes President Joe Biden got in the state’s Democratic primary election.

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Data collected by Michigan’s State Department shows that out of the 768,256 votes cast in Michigan’s Democratic primary, 478,072 Democratic votes were submitted as absentee ballots — so, more than half of the votes cast were absentee. 

But there is no evidence that those votes were casted without a signature or identification.

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To verify a ballot, Michigan’s voting rules require clerks to check signatures on  absentee ballot requests and absentee ballot envelopes against the signatures voters have on file. 

Voters who apply for absentee ballots must be registered to vote. To register to vote in Michigan, people must provide proof of identity. Michigan and most other states do not ask for a copy of the voter’s ID to be returned with the absentee ballot, although a few states, including Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and Ohio do have this requirement, according to information by the National Conference of State Legislatures

We searched Google and the Nexis news database and found no credible reports of absentee ballot voter fraud in Michigan’s presidential primary race. 

PolitiFact has previously debunked claims of voter fraud in Michigan’s 2022 midterm elections and the state’s 2020 presidential election

Biden received 81% of Democratic votes in the primary and nearly 19% were cast to other Democratic candidates or marked as "uncommitted," part of a protest effort against Biden’s support of Israel in the war against Hamas.

We rate the claim that 50% of votes to Biden in Michigan’s primary election were mail-in, without signatures or identification verification False. 

Our Sources

Instagram reel, (archived), Feb. 28, 2024

Michigan State Department, Over one million early and absentee votes cast ahead of Michigan’s Presidential Primary as voters embrace convenient options, Feb. 26, 2024

Michigan State Department, Election Administration Basics, accessed Feb. 28, 2024

Michigan State Department, Register to vote, accessed Feb. 29, 2024

Michigan State Department, Vote at home with an absentee ballot, accessed Feb. 29, 2024

PolitiFact, No these photos aren’t evidence of voter fraud in Detroit, Nov. 10, 2022

PolitiFact, Trump falsely claims Michigan illegally sent ballots to all voters, May 20, 2022

The New York Times, Michigan Democratic Primary Election Results, Feb. 29, 2024

The Associated Press, ‘Uncommitted’ wins 2 Democratic delegates in Michigan, a victory for Biden’s anti-war opponents, Feb. 28, 2024

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No, 50% of Biden’s Michigan vote was not unverified mail-in votes

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