Detroit News: “Too many votes in 37% of Detroit’s precincts” and “95 Detroit poll books missing for several days”
Too many votes in 37% of Detroit’s precincts
December 13, 2016
Voting machines in more than one-third of all Detroit precincts registered more votes than they should have during last month’s presidential election, according to Wayne County records prepared at the request of The Detroit News.
Detailed reports from the office of Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett show optical scanners at 248 of the city’s 662 precincts, or 37 percent, tabulated more ballots than the number of voters tallied by workers in the poll books. Voting irregularities in Detroit have spurred plans for an audit by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office, Elections Director Chris Thomas said Monday.
The Detroit precincts are among those that couldn’t be counted during a statewide presidential recount that began last week and ended Friday following a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court.
Democrat Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly prevailed in Detroit and Wayne County. But Republican President-elect Donald Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes or 47.5 percent to 47.3 percent.
Overall, state records show 10.6 percent of the precincts in the 22 counties that began the retabulation process couldn’t be recounted because of state law that bars recounts for unbalanced precincts or ones with broken seals.
The problems were the worst in Detroit, where discrepancies meant officials couldn’t recount votes in 392 precincts, or nearly 60 percent. And two-thirds of those precincts had too many votes.
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.
95 Detroit poll books missing for several days
December 15, 2016
Detroit elections officials waited several days to deliver nearly 100 poll books to Wayne County officials charged with certifying the presidential election, newly released documents show.
County clerk officials on Thursday released a memo to State Elections Director Chris Thomas that said 95 poll books from the 662 precincts weren’t available at the start of the canvass, which began the day after the Nov. 8 election. Five of those poll books, which contain the names of voters and ensure the integrity of elections, were never delivered to county canvassers and presumably remain missing.
The memo from county elections official Jennifer Redmond to the state also shows poll books in 101 Detroit precincts were not delivered in sealed envelopes, as the law requires.
Separate county documents obtained by The News show that poll books in 17 precincts were missing seal numbers from ballot boxes, as is required by state law.
Another Detroit precinct contained 50 of the 306 ballots listed in a poll book, according to an observer for Trump.