Society

No Evidence Of Widespread Voter Fraud In Michigan

| by Jordan Smith

An investigation organized in Michigan to look at cases of voter fraud in the November 2016 election has uncovered no evidence of widespread fraud.

President Donald Trump has called for a national investigation and claimed that there were high levels of voter fraud on election day, The Huffington Post reported.

Any discrepancies in ballot numbers could be blamed on human error, the investigation concluded.

In December 2016, it was revealed that 392 Michigan precincts had a mismatch in voter numbers between the poll books and voting machine printouts. The investigation examined the 136 precincts deemed to be the worst offenders.

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After investigations, officials narrowed down the number of outstanding ballots to 200, saying that all other irregularities could have been resolved on election night if poll workers had not made mistakes. These included a failure to properly use poll books, leaving counted ballots in a tabulator bin and failing to accurately record provisional ballots.

Investigators say they found 31 people who may have voted twice. These cases will be referred to the Attorney General for potential criminal prosecution.

On Feb. 2, Trump was scheduled to sign an executive order initiating a federal investigation into voter fraud, according to NBC. But the signing was postponed after officials said Trump was caught up in meetings that overran. No date has been set for the order to be signed and some sources said there will not be an inquiry any time soon.

Officials in the Trump administration have pointed to out-of date-voter roles as another problem. The Justice Department has the power under federal law to order states to purge voter roles in order to keep them up to date.

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"I expect the Trump Civil Rights Division to bring suits under that provision in places with large minority, youth or other Democratic-leaning populations," said Samuel Bagenstos, a former civil rights official in former President Barack Obama's administration, according to NBC.

Voting rights advocates are concerned that if an investigation goes ahead, it could be used to impose new restrictions on voting that would prevent large numbers of people from being able to cast a ballot.

Sources: The Huffington Post, NBC News / Photo credit: Office of the President of the United States via Wikimedia Commons

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