Election worker insists the process isn’t fraudulent

EDITOR’S NOTE: Full disclosure, my wife sent this letter after spending 14 hours at the Leighton Township polling place Tuesday as an election worker.

To the editor:

Over the past few years people have heard over and over about the possibility of elections being fraudulent. I was a poll worker in last night’s election. Let me tell you what happened here.

There are three precincts, along with a special board for absentee ballots in Leighton township. Out of these three precincts, there was only one person who showed up without proper ID. According to state law, this one person can vote, but has to sign a statement as to who they are. (Chances are good that one of the poll workers will also know this individual as the poll workers often are their neighbors)

At the end of the night (polls close at 8 p.m.), each precinct spends several hours going through a very detailed process to make sure the number of voters match the vote count from each tabulator. This takes anywhere from two hours-plus to do this process. Once this is done, this information is then double checked by two people, one from each party, who were not part of the poll workers who initially prepared the report. If there is a discrepancy of even one vote, they must go back and figure out the problem.

Last night the absentee ballots were off by one voter. The tabulator count did not match the actual ballot count. After doing hand recounts of the approximate 800 absentee ballots they could not find the mistake.

By now they had been looking for the one ballot difference for at least three hours (now after 11 p.m.). Instead of giving up and saying “ Oh well” it was decided that they would reset the tabulator to 0, and they re-inserted each and every ballot again into the tabulator to recount not only each ballot number but allow the tabulator to recount each person’s individual vote. This took another two hours, but by the end, the count matched.

Their work must then be double checked by the two people (one Democrat and one Republican) not involved with this absentee ballot group. Once they are satisfied everything is correct, they are done for the night. These dedicated people finally left Leighton Township at 2:15 a.m. after working an extra seven hours looking for one vote that didn’t match.

Oh, did you know these workers started working at 6 a.m. getting ready for the first voter at 7 a.m.

BTW, you have a Board of Canvassers from the county level that will double check that everything this township did was correct once again.

Do not ever listen and believe our elections are fraudulent!

Coleen Wendel Young


  • Thank you for being so diligent in counting the ballots. It is a very important job & I appreciate those who accept the responsibility of protecting our system at all levels, especially the local level.

  • Sadly those who buy into Trumps stolen election talk will still not believe the election process is secure. Now those who believe the conspiracy theory Trump promotes are being elected or at least in the primary elected by the far right GOP. As long as the GOP allows Trump to lead the Party this will be a neverending issue no matter the evidence otherwise.

    Thanks Colleen for writing this and working a tough job at the Polls and thanks for all the other hard working people who took the time to work the long hours. Good Job.

  • Great. Local small community elections usually aren’t a problem, easily quickly checked, ect.

    Large communities with thousands of voters are different. Well designed fraud can and does happen and will go uncorrected if overseeing officials let it, and many do.

    • Betty,
      I would have to disagree with your generalization about large communities with thousands of voters. I live in AZ now, and this state has been doing mail-in voting as well as at-the-polls voting for many years, and in spite of what Trump and his minions have implied, AZ elections are and have been above board and secure for all that time. Our governor, a Republican and Trump supporter, took Trump to task over his allegations, and multiple recounts proved Trump wrong. Our state is representative of the care all large communities take to protect our extremely valuable right to vote.
      The fraud that has been suggested is a proven myth.

    • Large communities are still broken down into smaller precincts, where the process Coleen described is still rigorously followed. It is extremely difficult to cheat, and, although a few may try, most, if not all, are quickly caught. In 2020, according to the Heritage Foundation, there were only 1365 proven cases of voter fraud nationwide, out of 154.6 million cast.

  • Thank you for the time and energy spent ensuring the election in your township went smoothly. People who cast doubt all over the process are often the ones least likely to volunteer to help work an election.

    Working at the county level (not Allegan), I can say our last township brought in results after midnight and the final reports were run and posted to our election results webpage around 12:30. Staff from the clerk’s office were here later than that sending reports of to the state, and then they were all back in the office serving customers at 8:00 this morning. Lots of people working hard to make sure things go smoothly.

  • I concur w Colleen
    As a poll worker myself ,I see that’s very very very hard to cheat . I worked 13 hours yesterday. I worked on absentee ballots,signing in folks and helping people put their ballot in the machine. We follow rules and they WORK. The democratic process of voting does work. We had similar situations yesterday of a person w no i.d. and then missing a vote but we found it . So to all those election fraud folks who believe in the LIE I suggest yo u watch what poll workers do and learn how the process really works . You folks are better off believing in Santa and the tooth fairy because at least w them you get a present!
    Finally , I’m proud to work w people who believe in voting and the laws we uphold.

    • Betty’s belief in election fraud typifies why the Trump Big Lie plays so well in rural America. It’s not us or our community’s voting security but those big cities where it always happens.

      Election fraud didn’t happen in MI in 2020. Didn’t happen in WI in 2020. Didn’t happen in PA. Didn’t happen in AZ. What did happen is an incumbent President who saw no election fraud in 2016 when he won MI by 10, 704 (0.22% of total votes) claims there was widespread voter fraud in 2020 when he was defeated by 154,188 votes (2.78% of votes cast) when he lost.

      Truth hurts and facts are mean.
      Truth is President Trump failed to win re-election.
      Truth is President Trump and members of his staff knew he lost and they came up with a plan to replace Electoral College electors in selected states to Electors who would break ranks, vote for the incumbent President and give Trump four more years in The White House.
      Truth is that is called a political coup. The first time in 58 US Presidential elections where the incumbent refuses to admit they lost and that was President Trump.

      If we are to a place where one political party’s nominees, all endorsed by a former President Trump are all claiming or inferring election results need to be questioned if their party’s nominees don’t win. A tacit claim election wins by their political opponents are always fraudulent.

      If thats the case we may as well say goodbye to Federal, state, county and municipal elections altogether and let GOP party officials decide who will hold offices. Just bypass the whole election process.

  • .Thank for the information and hard work. It seems many hours were spent looking for two ballots and that issue was resolved. I think the voter fraud issue is a false claim.
    Thanks again for your hard work keeping our elections safe,. seccure and honest.

    • Wilkins, if you’re going to make a statement like this you should back it up with your resources. But this is typically the same crap you and David always leave on the comments section. And when you register to vote, you have to show proof of citizenship and ID, the Trump big lie is over, get used to it. And thank you to all the poll workers and others that make this process the great American experience. DEMOCRACY!!!

      • “CNN anchor Don Lemon on Wednesday during the handoff from fellow anchor Chris Cuomo said requiring voters to present an identification card was “racist.”

        Right from your news source. If you need any other supporting documents don’t hesitate to ask!


        • So, Mr. Wilkens, are you saying you watch CNN? Didn’t your president say they were fake news? Shame on you for falling for your leader’s own crap. And another little fact: Don Lemon doesn’t make the laws on voting.

        • Hey John Wilkins, can you give us a update when you saw this episode on CNN? If I’m not mistaken, Cuomo doesn’t even work for CNN. It’s time to live in the future and the real world.


  • Colleen – Thanks so much for the great words. Leighton Township has a great Clerk in Rachel and I know she appreciates dedicated Election Inspectors like you. Thank you for sharing.

    • Good one, Moras, we’ve seen the perfect example in the last election in Pennsylvania. Do you know if Lt. Governor Dan Patrick paid out his bounty reward for finding fraud? Last time I heard, it scammed the poll worker out of the reward. Why is that?

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