Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey has broken her public silence about irregularities in the city’s November’s election results. Michigan’s presidential recount was halted mid-process. But the partial recount revealed that more than half of Detroit precincts were legally ineligible to be recounted, because reported vote counts didn’t match the actual number of ballots. That prompted the state to launch an audit, which is still wrapping up. Winfrey has said very little during that time. But state elections officials have now said there is no evidence of fraud, a finding Winfrey reiterated that at a press conference Friday. Instead, she said it mostly revealed a lot of “human error” at the “precinct level.”
Detroit elections staff initially blamed old voting machines for many of the problems. But Winfrey now says that’s not what happened, and challenged suggestions her office failed to test equipment. “For the most part, problems that the state identified were human error,” Winfrey said. “Yes, we test every last one of our machines every time.”
Many of the reported problems with jammed vote tabulators in Detroit on election were likely due to people not correctly inserting ballots into the optical scanners. He says that likely accounts for a number of apparent “ghost votes” that raised the specter of fraud.
“What that meant was, if a voter held onto their ballot while the machine tried to tug it in and it didn’t receive it, that public counter would go up one increment,” Baxter said.