Michigan Recount Reveals Voter Fraud in Detroit-Unproven!
Summary of eRumor:
A 2016 election recount in Michigan requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein has uncovered voter fraud in Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan.
Discrepancies in the number of ballots and recorded votes in Detroit and Wayne County have sparked an official audit — but state officials haven’t yet ruled whether or not there was voter fraud in Detroit.
The story began to unfold in early December when the Detroit News reported that as many as half the votes in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, could be ineligible for recount under state law because of problems with ballots:
“It’s not good,” conceded Daniel Baxter, elections director for the city of Detroit.
He blamed the discrepancies on the city’s decade-old voting machines, saying 87 optical scanners broke on Election Day. Many jammed when voters fed ballots into scanners, which can result in erroneous vote counts if ballots are inserted multiple times. Poll workers are supposed to adjust counters to reflect a single vote but in many cases failed to do so, causing the discrepancies, Baxter said.
Even so, Baxter said it’s unlikely all 392 of the city’s precincts with mismatched numbers will be disqualified from a recount. The city is in contact with elections officials at the state of Michigan and Baxter predicted the numbers will match when the ballot boxes are re-opened for the recount, which starts Tuesday in Wayne County at Cobo Center.
“It’s a challenge, but we’re confident the ballots will match,” Baxter said. “I don’t think it’s going to be 100 percent, but it never is with a recount.”
Then, a report about votes in Wayne County released by election officials on December 13th sparked even more questions about alleged voter fraud in Detroit, Detroit News reports:
The new report, compiled by Wayne County elections officials, sheds light on the extent of the problems and shows a systematic tendency toward counting more votes than the previous Wayne County report, which didn’t specify if precincts had over-counted or undercounted ballots.
Republican state senators last week called for an investigation in Wayne County, including one precinct where a Detroit ballot box contained only 50 of the 306 ballots listed in a poll book, according to an observer for Trump.
City officials have told state officials that ballots in that precinct were never taken out of a locked bin below the voting machine tabulator on Election Day, said Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams.
“That’s what we’ve been told, and we’ll be wanting to verify it,” Woodhams said. “At any rate, this should not have happened.”
The state is not calling the audit an investigation, “but based on what we find, it could lead to more,” he said.
So, while some have pointed to decades-old voting machines that broke down on election day, others have made accusations about voter fraud in Detroit. At this time, it’s not clear why the vote numbers are off, or by how much, Detroit News reports:
It’s unclear how many votes were added in Detroit. That’s because county officials have not tabulated how much the ballots were off in precincts with discrepancies of at least five votes.
Of the data available, though, machines tallied at least 388 more ballots, according to a Detroit News analysis of the records. That’s 0.16 percent of the 248,000 ballots cast in the city that voted for Clinton 95 percent to 3 percent over Trump.
Haroutunian said she didn’t know what to make of the trend toward over-counting because there was no explanation from Detroit poll workers. The city had another 34 precincts that were out of balance, but they included explanations for the discrepancies.
The partial Michigan recount did not change the result of the election: Donald Trump won Michigan by more than 10,000 votes. But Hillary Clinton picked up about 100 votes through the recount, the Detroit Free Press reports:
Nearly 2.1 million of the close to 4.8 million ballots cast in Michigan in the Nov. 8 presidential election were counted a second time before the recount was halted, with Democrat Hillary Clinton gaining 102 votes and Stein gaining 64 votes, according to data released by the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. Since the recount was not completed, the official result will remain as stated earlier, with Trump defeating Clinton by 10,704 votes.
Chris Thomas, Michigan’s elections director, said those numbers show Michigan residents can have a high level of confidence in the state’s election system.
“I would view this very positively — the fact that we counted … 2 million votes and the net difference was 102 votes,” Thomas said.
But those tallies don’t include the votes in question in Detroit because they were excluded from the recount under state law. It’s not clear how much the vote total in Detroit, why the total count was off, or if there was actually voter fraud in Detroit. An official audit should provide answers. Check back for updates.