Wayne County elections workers are expected to begin their eighth day recounting ballots from disputed Detroit elections this morning, and little information is being made available on how much longer the recount will take — or how much it is costing. County officials said Monday that about 80% of the ballots have been counted. Paperwork then has to be completed after the count. Delphine Oden, Wayne County’s director of elections, declined to say Monday when she expected the recount to end. The recount was approved by the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, which is looking into allegations of fraud detailed in a petition filed by former mayoral candidate Tom Barrow. Barrow’s allegations include, among other things, that the number of applications for absentee ballots was lower than the number of absentee votes cast, and that similar handwriting appears on several ballots cast for former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan, who will face Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon in November’s general election. Carol Larkin, chair of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, said the overall cost for the recount appears headed closer to $100,000 than the $500,000 price tag Barrow has suggested. “We won’t know the total until it’s done,” she said. “It is going to get costly, though.”
Elections workers have until Sept. 30 — 20 days from the beginning of the recount on Sept. 10 — to complete the process.
About 50 temporary workers, some on a rotating basis, have been charged with completing the hand recount.
In addition, employees from the county’s division of elections and three corporation counsel attorneys are on hand for the recount daily.
Included in the cost is staffing of two Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies, private security to guard the ballots after hours and the cost for renting rooms in Cobo Center until the recount is complete.