Last night we noted that Team Hillary, which was supportive of Jill Stein's recount efforts, should be careful what they wish for. New data released yesterday revealed that voting machines in 37% of all Detroit precincts, which skew heavily democratic, registered more votes than they had of actual voters showing up at the polls. The scale of the "voting irregularities" discovered prompted an automatic vote audit by the Michigan Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson.
Today, we learn from the Detroit News, to our "complete surprise," that the "voting irregularity" rabbit hole in Detroit is a bit deeper than initially thought. According to a memo penned by Wayne County election officials, 95 of the 662 precincts in Wayne County waited several days before delivering their poll books to canvassers and 5 of those poll books are still "missing" even today.
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 revelation comes atop other irregularities that have prompted a state audit. Among other issues, The Detroit News reported this week that voting machines registered more votes than they should have in one-third of all city precincts.
“I’m not happy with how Detroit handled this election at all,” said Krista Hartounian, chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, which certified the election.
“We had been seeing improvement, but this one was different. This one was off.”
Meanwhile, many of the precincts that actually did deliver their poll books in a timely fashion breached official state laws by either not delivering them in sealed envelopes and/or omitting "seal numbers from ballot boxes."
Hartounian said Detroit officials were still delivering poll books to canvassers on the Friday and Saturday after the Tuesday election. By law, the canvassers have 14 days to certify general elections.
“The canvass was extremely pressed for time,” Hartounian said. “There was so much pressure. It was so tight, and Detroit was still delivering information until the very end.”
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.
Of course, given that democrats are suddenly hyper-focused on election integrity, we're certain we'll hear from Obama, Josh Earnest and/or John Podesta on this egregious example of mass voter fraud, in a heavily democratic county, anytime now.
* * *
For those who missed it, here is what we wrote yesterday.
Team Hillary, which was supportive of Jill Stein's recount efforts, should be careful what they wish for. New data from Michigan's State Elections Director Chris Thomas, reveals that voting machines in 37% of all Detroit precincts registered more votes than they had of actual voters showing up at the polls. The scale of the "voting irregularities" has prompted an automatic vote audit by the Michigan Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson. Per the Detroit News:
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.
And wouldn't you know it, Wayne County, home of Detroit, just happens to be one of the very few counties that Hillary "won" in the state of Michigan.
And with 115% of all votes counted, Hillary won the county by a substantial margin of over 37 points.
Apparently the discrepancies were found as result of Jill Stein's recount efforts which began but were subsequently shut down by a federal court. Per Michigan state law, recounts are not allowed to proceed in "unbalanced" precincts where the number of ballots don't tie out to the number of voters. In the city of Detroit alone, 60% of the precincts were found to be "unbalanced" with two-thirds of those having "too many votes."
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.
“There’s always going to be small problems to some degree, but we didn’t expect the degree of problem we saw in Detroit. This isn’t normal,” said Krista Haroutunian, chairwoman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.
State officials are planning to examine about 20 Detroit precincts where ballot boxes opened during the recount had fewer ballots than poll workers had recorded on Election Day.
“We’re assuming there were (human) errors, and we will have discussions with Detroit election officials and staff in addition to reviewing the ballots,” Thomas said.
While the level of the problem is currently unknown, Republican state senators called out 1 precinct specifically that counted 306 votes but only had 50 official 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.
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.
We're still awaiting official confirmation that the Russians stole these physical ballots from heavily democratic Michigan precincts in an effort to disrupt the recount process...stay tuned.