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Thread: Records: Too many votes in 37% of Detroit’s precincts

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    Records: Too many votes in 37% of Detroit’s precincts

    Records: Too many votes in 37% of Detroit’s precincts
    Joel Kurth and Jonathan Oosting , The Detroit News 1:31 p.m. EST 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.

    “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.

    The Detroit News last week was first to report that more than half of Detroit would be ineligible for the recount because of the irregularities. The results were based on county reports obtained by The News.

    The new report, compiled by Wayne County elections officials, sheds light on the extent of the problems and shows a systematic tendency toward counting more votes than the previous Wayne County report, which didn’t specify if precincts had over-counted or under-counted 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.

    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.

    City Clerk Janice Winfrey and Elections Director Daniel Baxter did not return multiple messages.

    Audit ‘good place to start’

    State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, called the planned audit “a good place to start” that could help determine whether Detroit elections workers “followed the correct procedures” or “fraudulent procedures” on Election Day.

    Whether a poll book mismatch suggests there are too few or too many ballots in any given precinct, “it’s concerning,” said Colbeck, who spearheaded the request for probe. “It’s supposed to reconcile to zero.”

    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.

    Haroutunian said she didn’t know what to make of the trend toward over-counting because there was no explanation from Detroit poll workers. The city had another 34 precincts that were out of balance, but they included explanations for the discrepancies.
    More.

    All 50 states and the territories have very similar procedures for precinct voting. Over a couple hundred of years and numerous examples of Federal election case law, we've pretty much converged on methods to ensure correct voter tallies.

    There are minor differences involving I.D. requirements, training, number of judges, etc., but the tally procedures and security standards are really almost identical.

    What happened here, I don't know. I would guess that either it was deliberate (hard to believe but not impossible) or the training and oversight of the judges had a complete and catastrophic failure.

    Detroit News

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    More.

    All 50 states and the territories have very similar procedures for precinct voting. Over a couple hundred of years and numerous examples of Federal election case law, we've pretty much converged on methods to ensure correct voter tallies.

    There are minor differences involving I.D. requirements, training, number of judges, etc., but the tally procedures and security standards are really almost identical.

    What happened here, I don't know. I would guess that either it was deliberate (hard to believe but not impossible) or the training and oversight of the judges had a complete and catastrophic failure.

    Detroit News
    Interesting that it happened only in counties that vote predominantly Democrat isn't it?
    If it pays, it stays

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbit View Post
    Interesting that it happened only in counties that vote predominantly Democrat isn't it?
    Whether decades of Democratic Party machine politics caused the lack of education, poor incomes, and social evils or is a result of them is something to speculate about.

    Either way, election officials and judges are drawn from the population of people who care enough to do the job. Some do it out of civic duty, some want to watch-dog polls for political reasons, and some people just like being Queen for a Day (it's mostly women in most parts of the country). Who knows?

    There is actually quite a lot to learn if you want to do this kind of thing and a significant part of it involves strict attention to detail and some basic but extremely important arithmetic. If your training is sub par, this will be a problem. If your opposite judges are very elderly, they may not be willing to discover or confront problems (as may be the case if your precinct has trouble finding opposite judges due to demographic changes).

    I don't know what went wrong here but I'm inclined to believe that training issues and a lack of oversight are involved.

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    Trying to replicate Kennedy vs Nixon in Chicgo in Trump vs Mz Clinton in Detroit didn't result in the hoped result.

    It wasn't a deciding factor.

    They should have had a Daly running something

    Oh well.
    Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
    and lost …
    But the Republicans are racist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    More.

    All 50 states and the territories have very similar procedures for precinct voting. Over a couple hundred of years and numerous examples of Federal election case law, we've pretty much converged on methods to ensure correct voter tallies.

    There are minor differences involving I.D. requirements, training, number of judges, etc., but the tally procedures and security standards are really almost identical.

    What happened here, I don't know. I would guess that either it was deliberate (hard to believe but not impossible) or the training and oversight of the judges had a complete and catastrophic failure.

    Detroit News
    Possible there some journalism going on here.

    There doesn't seem to be a innocent explanation available.
    Former Detroit mayoral candidate Tom Barrow, who has challenged the city’s elections process for years, said blaming workers is a cop-out. According to city protocol, all precincts are supposed to be balanced when the ballot boxes are sealed at the end of the night, he said.

    “The city is responsible. [Detroit City Clerk] Janice Winfrey is responsible,” Barrow said. “This didn’t happen because of crazy, dyslexic senior citizens who are working as poll workers, like they want to portray this. That’s people who are trying to deny responsibility.”
    They don't want to blame the poll workers. (There've been calls for Winfrey to resign.) Maybe blame the voters:
    Last week, Baxter told The News 87 optical scanners broke on Election Day. He said many jammed when voters tried repeatedly to stuff single ballots into scanners, which can result in erroneous vote counts if poll workers don’t adjust counters.
    He has asserted on social media that Winfrey cost Clinton the election in Michigan.
    Others said there could be benign explanations.

    Detroit’s ballot was two pages because it included dozens of candidates for the local Board of Education. The number of pages can cause machines to jam and lead them to count too many ballots, said Genesee County Clerk John Gleason.
    Can we say this discrepancy would not have been revealed were it not for Jill Stein? The correlation of ineligible ballots with Democratic strongholds is too clear to avoid investigation.

    It will be good to get to the bottom of this, to ensure the integrity of the ballot in Detroit and everywhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    Can we say this discrepancy would not have been revealed were it not for Jill Stein? The correlation of ineligible ballots with Democratic strongholds is too clear to avoid investigation.

    It will be good to get to the bottom of this, to ensure the integrity of the ballot in Detroit and everywhere else.
    We can but I have long felt that we need to train judges and grade them in simulated practice environments.

    I've worked with good-hearted people who simply didn't pay attention in the classes. They seriously thought that cutting-corners a bit or overlooking minor irregularities was not a big deal. Others just collapsed when it came to tracking what we were doing (not out of malfeasance, out of dumbness). It's a problem.

    Now, bad intention is a possible thing - I have no personal experience of that even though I have worked with many vocal partisans, people of all colors, sexes, and inclinations, and people who took a fairly light-hearted approach to security.

    It takes all kinds. Having the heart of a CPA helps tremendously.

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    Moral of the story: don't buy anything in Detroit if the chashier has to count out change.........

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    So, did Jill Stein's recount point up some issues of concern?

    On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    -H. L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    Moral of the story: don't buy anything in Detroit if the chashier has to count out change.........
    I thought you were going to say to not invite yourself to a spelling bee.
    Or are you borrowing DJ's phone?

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