Politics

Vote Recount In Michigan Shows Unexpected Results

| by Brendan Kelly

Green Party candidate Jill Stein's election recount effort in Michigan has shown some ballot irregularities, but the results may not be what Stein expected.

With the recount effort underway in Michigan, results show many voting precincts have differences in their voting records, reports the Daily Mail.

In Detroit, where Hillary Clinton won 95 percent of the vote, voting machines counted more ballots than there were people recorded in line to vote. Out of Detroit's 662 voting precincts, only 236 precincts' totals matched the initial records. Of those with problems, 144 precincts had fewer votes than recorded, and 248 had more votes than recorded.

The inconsistent results will not likely lead to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton becoming the president-elect, but rather will trigger a campaign for more reliable voting machines, according to the International Business Times.

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"There's always going to be small problems to some degree, but we didn't expect the degree of problem we saw in Detroit," Krista Haroutunian, chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, told the Detroit News, according to the Daily Mail. "This isn't normal."

Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas added, "We're assuming there were [human] errors, and we will have discussions with Detroit election officials and staff in addition to reviewing the ballots."

It is not clear exactly by how many votes the official counts were off, because officials stop counting the number of errors on a machine after they identify five errors.

Despite the surprising numbers, officials made it clear they do not believe voter fraud is to blame for the inconsistencies.

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Washtenaw County Elections Director Ed Golembiewski said, "It's usually human error."

"I have not seen anyone intentionally try to run an extra ballot," Golembiewski added. "You aren't going to rig an election three ballots at a time. You're going to need a far more systematic and thorough approach than a couple of people here and there stuffing three extra ballots."

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey said the city's 10-year-old voting machines will be replaced following the discovery of the errors.

"We had the rollout [of new machines] in out budget. No money was appropriated by the state," Winfrey said. "We are hopeful that we will have machines in 2017, and I suggest to you that tomorrow there will be a plan rolled out for those machines. If not, we're going to do like we always do in this raggedy city: We're going to make it work."

So far, the recount effort in other states has not been successful. Republican President-elect Donald Trump won the Electoral College, but Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

The recount in Wisconsin showed Trump's lead grow by 131 votes, raising his lead to 22,748 votes more than Clinton. In Pennsylvania, Stein's recount effort was shut down by a federal judge.

Sources: International Business TimesDaily Mail / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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