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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke November 10, 2022

No, the Michigan attorney general’s race wasn’t ‘stolen’

If Your Time is short

  • Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Democratic incumbent, won reelection according to unofficial results. Her Republican opponent, Matt DePerno, conceded. He didn’t say that the election was stolen from him and claims that it was are unfounded. 

Matt DePerno perpetuated misinformation that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. But when the Republican candidate for attorney general in Michigan lost his own race in the 2022 midterms, he conceded. 

"Thank you to all of the Patriots & supporters across Michigan!," DePerno tweeted Nov. 9. "Although I may be conceding to Dana Nessel today, I refuse to concede that Michigan is a blue state. I will continue to fight like hell to restore Michigan to all it can be. Thank you to each and every one of you!"

But MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has also spread election misinformation, didn’t accept the results.

"Another race being stolen in the middle of the night from Matt DePerno," an Instagram post from Lindell said Nov. 9. "We will never stop until the machines are melted down and turned into prison bars!!!"

The post includes a graphic that shows a surge of votes for Nessel after 1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Nov. 9 and a lesser surge for DePerno. 

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

We reached out to the Michigan secretary of state’s office about the post but didn’t immediately hear back. 

We found the website with the graphic in the post that appears to show vote tallies for the candidates from 8:38 p.m. EST on Nov. 8 to 3:53 p.m. EST Nov. 9. That’s when it shows Nessel had 2,324,802 votes and DePerno had 1,948,394 votes. 

That’s close to the unofficial results on the secretary of state’s website as of 4:41 p.m. EST. The site showed Nessel with 2,320,440 votes, about 53%, and DePerno with 1,945,531 votes, or about 45%.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson warned on the morning of Nov. 8 that her office wouldn’t have unofficial election results until the following day amid high voter turnout and more than 1.8 million absentee ballots. Election workers couldn’t start counting those ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day. 

There’s no evidence that the election was stolen from DePerno. We rate that claim Pants on Fire!


Our Sources

Instagram post, Nov. 9, 2022

Matt DePerno tweet, Nov. 9, 2022

Drazabot 2022, 2022 midterm - attorney general, Michigan, visited Nov. 9, 2022

Detroit Free Press, Michigan Election Day 2022 updates: Long line at U-M lasts past poll closure, Nov. 8, 2022

Detroit Free Press, When do election results come out in Michigan? Don't expect them right away, Oct. 31, 2022

WJBK-TV, Matt DePerno concedes Michigan AG race to Dana Nessel, Nov. 9, 2022

Detroit Free Press, Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel reelected, defeats GOP challenger DePerno, Nov. 9, 2022

2022 Michigan Election results, last updated 4:41pm, Nov. 9, 2022


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No, the Michigan attorney general’s race wasn’t ‘stolen’

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