More than half of Detroit’s votes may be disqualified from Michigan’s recount

Photo by Steve Neavling.
Photo by Steve Neavling.

More than half of Detroit’s voting precincts may be ineligible for a statewide recount of presidential election results because of broken optical scanners and other problems with ballots.

That could be bad news for Hillary Clinton, who received a whopping 95% of the vote in Detroit.
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Broken voting machines were a big problem on Election Day, causing delays and long lines. Some people went home without voting.

Nearly 90 optical scanners malfunctioned during the election, and one voter even got her hand stuck in an optical scanner. Some poll workers failed to adjust the vote counters when the machines jammed, according to Daniel Baxter, elections director for the city of Detroit.

State law disqualifies the recounting of precincts where voting machine printouts don’t match with ballots. That happened at 59.2% of Detroit’s 662 precincts.

What’s unclear is whether the city even tested the voting machines before the election, as required.

On Monday, Michigan began a statewide recount because Donald Trump won by about 0.2% – a razor-thin margin that could change. But the chances of the Clinton picking up enough votes have diminished because of the ballot problems in Detroit.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.