59 percent of Detroit precincts show difference between machine ballot count and poll book ballot count
LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and 22 of his Senate colleagues formally requested in a letter submitted on Wednesday a state investigation into systemic poll book irregularities that are coming to light after the election on Nov. 8.
According to a report in the Detroit News, in 59 percent of Detroit voting precincts, the poll book ballot count did not match the machine ballot count. By Michigan statute, the ballots in these precincts cannot be recounted, but they do indicate voting irregularities that merit further investigation.
There are at least three potential explanations for these discrepancies:
- A failure of the machine required a ballot to be reinserted into the machine. When this happens, poll workers are supposed to manually adjust the machine ballot count to reflect the additional scan attempt(s).
- Multiple ballots that were not tracked in the poll book were inserted into the voting machine.
- A single ballot was intentionally reinserted into the voting machine multiple times.
One example of suspicious vote irregularity was witnessed by an observer of the recount in Detroit voting precinct 152. In this precinct, a recount volunteer reported that when election officials opened a box sealed and certified as reflecting 306 votes, only 50 ballots were found in the box.
“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,” Sen. Colbeck said. “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.
“If the investigation identifies voter fraud, the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If the investigation identifies negligence, we need to define and implement a corrective action plan that will be faithfully monitored to preclude future irregularities.”
Experts in the matter widely believe the discrepancies have zero chance of changing the presidential election results. The Michigan election results were certified on Nov. 28, well before the Electoral College deadline of Dec. 13. Michigan will be casting its 16 electoral votes with the Electoral College on Dec. 19.
“This recount was started for purely political reasons, by a non-aggrieved party that knew our presidential election results were not in doubt,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Despite this knowledge, they initiated the recount petition with little or no regard for the expense to taxpayers or for the sacrifices of the precious family time of volunteers who would otherwise be preparing for the holiday season with their families.
“As it turns out, though, what they intended for their own selfish ends may actually result in something beneficial by helping to eradicate systemic voter fraud in the future.”
The letter was submitted Wednesday afternoon to the offices of both the Michigan Attorney General and the Michigan Secretary of State.