Surprise: Vote Count Discrepancies Discovered in 37 Percent of Detroit County Precints

Posted: Dec 13, 2016 3:55 PM

Since the New York Times has taken to stoking voter worries about the election itself being "hacked" by running profoundly misleading headlines, perhaps they'll focus a great deal of attention on this story out of Detroit. Donald Trump won the state of Michigan narrowly, and a baseless recount effort has been jettisoned by the courts. But that doesn't mean that the state's electoral system cannot be -- shall we say -- improved upon in some places. Via the Detroit Newsthis ought to qualify as a spate of major "irregularities" at a bare minimum, no?

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...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.

This is the stuff of third world nations and banana republics; an embarrassment to these heavily Democratic counties. And of course Michigan's horrible, nasty Republicans are trying to "suppress the vote" or whatever by demanding answers about, well, extremely fishy developments like this:

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.

One Democratic elections official quoted in the story attributes the discrepancies to "human error." Sixty percent of ballots being ineligible for recount because of irregularities and mismatched data is a lot of human error.  One wonders whether an accurate recount would have expanded Trump's victory margin, as it did in Wisconsin.  GOP lawmakers in the state are seeking to tighten existing voter ID laws -- speaking of which, a federal appeals court just upheld Virginia's law, tossing out a Democratic challenge:

Republicans' gubernatorial frontrunner Ed Gillespie (Virginia votes next year) issued the following statement about this positive development:

A different three-judge panel from the same court recently struck down North Carolina's ID law, citing significant disparate impact concerns.  As we've addressed in previous posts, Donald Trump and others often overstate the prevalence and widespread impact of voter fraud, but the Left is wrong to claim that the phenomenon is virtually nonexistent, and efforts to combat it are racial plots to disenfranchise voters.  As we've documented over and over and over and over and over again, it's real, and must be guarded against with common-sense, widely-supported voter integrity laws.