Jill Stein’s recount quest did nothing to de-legitimize Donald Trump’s election, but it may have turned up voter fraud after all. According to a Tuesday article in the Detroit News, voting machines in hundreds of the city’s precincts tabulated more ballots than the number counted by poll workers. 37% of Detroit’s precincts showed these discrepancies, leading Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to call for an official audit of the results.
According to the article, Wayne County election officials, embarking on a recount spurred on by Stein’s petition, found some troubling data in the returns. No less than 248 of the city’s 662 precincts had the same problem: More votes being counted than there were…actual voters! Another 144 precincts had the opposite problem: not enough votes to make sense out of the count done by poll workers. Either there was widespread incompetence or outright fraud.
This week, Republican Patrick Colbeck of the Michigan State Senate said he agreed with the call for an audit.
“The state needs to investigate whether or not the cause of the ballot count discrepancies in Detroit and elsewhere throughout the state are the result of fraud or negligence,” Colbeck said in a press release. “While some inadvertent human error can always occur, when it is identified in 59 percent of Detroit’s 662 voting precincts, the sanctity of our democratic voting process demands an investigation.”
Some election officials were trying to pass off the discrepancies as typical human error, but Krista Haroutunian of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers said this went beyond your average carelessness.
“There’s always going to be small problems to some degree, but we didn’t expect the degree of problem we saw in Detroit,” she said. “This isn’t normal.”
Detroit, of course, was Hillary Clinton country. While Trump won the state when all the votes were in, Clinton cleaned up in Wayne County. If Democrats wanted to concentrate their efforts on maximizing already-favorable territory in an uncertain state, this was exactly the place to do it. Whether or not they actually did that remains to be seen. Judging by the undercover videos produced by James O’Keefe, you couldn’t put it past them.