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

No, this graph doesn’t prove Gretchen Whitmer stole her election

If Your Time is short

  • Some counties in Michigan overwhelmingly went for Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the gubernatorial race. That’s not evidence of fraud. 
 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was re-elected to lead the state for four more years, beating her Republican challenger, Tudor Dixon, with about 54% of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

But a line graph seemingly tracking the results in the race across election night is being held up on social media as evidence of fraud. 

Two points are circled on the graph in which the blue line, representing votes for Whitmer, spikes more than the red line, representing votes for Dixon. 

"Two massive unexplained ballot drops gave Gretchen Whitmer the lead in Michigan — they ran a ‘drop and roll’ in Michigan," one Instagram post sharing the graph said. "The crooks and criminals are using different tactics. … In the Michigan race there were two batches dropped for Gretchen Whitmer that put her in the lead in the race after she had been trailing for hours. Then all the votes after that point in time were in the same ratio. These drops gave crooked Whitmer the lead and the election." 

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.)

The Detroit Free Press tracked Michigan votes for governor as election night progressed, and although the race was tighter earlier in the evening, Whitmer wasn’t trailing Dixon for hours, as the post says. According to both the graph in the post and the graph on the Free Press website, Whitmer never trailed Dixon. 

We reached out to Michigan’s secretary of state about this post but didn’t hear back. But a breakdown of how voters in each county voted in the governor’s race is available on the secretary of state’s website.

In some counties, a comparable number of votes were cast for each candidate. In Midland County, Whitmer took about 19,500 votes and Dixon took nearly 21,000. But in other counties, one candidate was clearly favored. In a few cases, the candidate was favored by a lot. 

About 73,500 people voted for Whitmer in Kalamazoo County, for example, while about 42,400 cast a ballot for Dixon. In Kent County, about 163,000 votes went for Whitmer compared with about 132,000 for Dixon. And in Ottawa County, Dixon prevailed with about 85,400 votes to Whitmer’s nearly 59,000. Whitmer won Wayne County by a wide margin, with about 457,000 votes to Dixon’s 180,000.

There’s no evidence these votes are part of some "drop and roll" fraud. Rather, it’s Michiganders making a choice in their 2022 gubernatorial election. In this case, a majority of Michiganders chose the Democratic candidate, Whitmer. 

Dixon conceded the race the morning of Nov. 9. 

We rate claims that Whitmer stole the election Pants on Fire!

 

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No, this graph doesn’t prove Gretchen Whitmer stole her election

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