On her Fox News show Outnumbered today, anchor Martha McCallum issued a sobering warning about voter fraud in the upcoming election, as states race to put mail-in voting procedures in place for November.
Using the state of Michigan's August 4th primary as an example, McCallum spoke of 864 ballots the state received from dead people, soberly citing this as a reason to remain vigilant against fraud.
But McCallum's reporting of this statistic was inaccurate in several key ways.
846 people in Michigan voted absentee and died before the election. Accordingly, Michigan's Secretary of State did… https://t.co/xBWKCAEvsf— Media Matters (@Media Matters) 1597686335.0
The absentee ballots that McCallum cited were ones that were mailed in from voters who were alive at the time of preparing and mailing their ballots, but died before Election Day--not "dead people voting," as McCallum claimed.
McCallum also wrongly reported the number of ballots itself.
Fox anchor Martha MacCallum suggests that “864 dead people” voting in Michigan is evidence of "intentional" fraud.… https://t.co/bHdbhWyG8G— Bobby Lewis (@Bobby Lewis) 1597686232.0
Using these incorrect details, McCallum forcefully made the case for intentional fraud having occurred in Michigan.
"They had 864 dead people voting. That is an intentional action. It's a small number, but it's worth noting, because it's an intentional action, it's not a mistake."
McCallum went on to strongly call for caution against further mail-in voting fraud of this nature in November.
"There is reason to be very cautious about how this is going to work going forward..."
Voter fraud has been a fixation of the Republican party and right-wing media in recent years, despite studies showing that it is exceedingly rare, with an approximate incident rate of 0.0003%--less than the chance of being struck by lightning.
But the incident in Michigan's primary that McCallum cites, of course, is not among this tiny incidence of actual fraud, and the origin of the 846 ballots from deceased voters is clearly notated on the Michigan Secretary of State's website, where statistics like the one McCallum cited are compiled.
Given all of this misinformation, a fiery round of fact-checking ensued on Twitter as journalists and political figures alike took McCallum to task for her misrepresentation of the data.
When someone votes early & then dies before Election Day, the ballot is not counted. Using unfortunate circumstan… https://t.co/wxvnud9dIS— Aylett Colston (@Aylett Colston) 1597686657.0
what happened to the ol' GOP line, "people die all the time!"? Oh wait, that's when they want teachers to work in… https://t.co/ykAMNHbWif— Marie Myung-Ok 명옥 Lee (@Marie Myung-Ok 명옥 Lee) 1597687639.0
Again, take note of any msm reporter who defends the news side of fox. And then don’t listen another damn word that… https://t.co/9aPHxPgAhe— Adam Parkhomenko (@Adam Parkhomenko) 1597686696.0
Prime example of the way Fox News lies to its viewers while reporting facts but with key information missing. https://t.co/4l25iMo0uO— Ashton Pittman (@Ashton Pittman) 1597694744.0
If only we could prevent [checks notes] death between submitting one's absentee ballot and Election Day. https://t.co/Kpk4uumzhb— Jamie 😷’Grady (@Jamie 😷’Grady) 1597686961.0
People excoriated Fox and MacCallum for the misinformation.
Unreal commitment to the bit https://t.co/lB7dCOfYkv— Jack Zhou (@Jack Zhou) 1597687458.0
@mmfa @Lynn_Henning The crazy thing here is that most people simply don't think this way. People don't cheat at vot… https://t.co/3P5EKCWRRw— Paul Flower (@Paul Flower) 1597687244.0
Liars. A whole political party and related TV network built on nonstop lying. All to have power. https://t.co/jnfYBtcMIH— Ted D Williams (@Ted D Williams) 1597691820.0
Hi @marthamaccallum Did you lie on purpose or did you make a whoopsie daisy?!? It's your networks calling card to… https://t.co/Sh0K4vF88o— Fed up Dad to 3 (@Fed up Dad to 3) 1597687303.0
Fox News has not issued a correction as of this writing.