Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said Thursday voting irregularities in Detroit and elsewhere in Michigan that spurred a state audit of the city’s ballots are prompting consideration of expanding post-election audits. Voting machines in more than one-third of all Detroit precincts registered more votes than they should have during the presidential election, according to Wayne County records prepared at the request of The Detroit News. The voting irregularities prompted an audit of the city’s ballots following the election. “We’ve done 1,400 of them, and we’re going to be looking at how we can broaden those audits even further,” Johnson said after a celebration of Michigan’s 180th anniversary as a state, without providing further details. “We’re looking at that right now because we’re doing some auditing of some of the communities that had some issues, and then we’ll know more exactly what we need to do because there’s nothing more important to democracy than making sure that we have great elections.” Detailed reports from the office of Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett show optical scanners at 248 of Detroit’s 662 precincts, or 37 percent, tabulated more ballots than the number of voters tallied by workers in the poll books.
The Detroit precincts were among those that couldn’t be counted during a statewide presidential recount that began in early December and ended shortly afterward following a Michigan Supreme Court and federal court decisions.
Johnson stressed that state officials did not find any change in election results in Michigan’s largest city or elsewhere in the state. She said workers were simply not following election protocol meant to protect against ballot tampering. Workers had not been removing ballots from ballot boxes and transferring them to a secure and sealed bag at the end of the day, as they were supposed to.
“So each one of those ballots counted, the counts were accurate,” Johnson said. “But unfortunately” they were miscounted at first because not all ballots were transferred from the tabulator or ballot box to the required bag, she said.
Full Article: Johnson: Michigan may boost post-election audits.