Even as the state of Michigan is preparing for a statewide recount in the 2016 presidential election race due to a request filed by third party candidate Jill Stein and subsequently signed onto by national popular vote winner Hillary Clinton, questions are being asked as to what the recount might uncover. Some observers have asked if Donald Trump’s current 10,704 vote lead in the state is too large to be overturned, based on the mere honest errors it might correct. But one number stands out as the leading evidence as to why the recount has legs: 13,107.
That’s the number of votes which the state of Michigan told us Donald Trump had won by, after every precinct had fully reported in. But now two weeks later, after various Michigan precincts have revised their own totals voluntarily, Trump’s lead has plummeted from 13,107 votes to just 10,704 votes. The official explanation, as reported by the Detroit Free Press newspaper, is that precincts initially under-reported Clinton’s totals more than they under-reported Trump’s totals. The finalized totals have his vote total rising slightly, and hers rising by much more.
In other words, based on the Michigan precincts’ own self-checking system, thousands of votes have been voluntarily shaved off Donald Trump’s lead in the state already. This is not nearly as suspicious as in the neighboring state of Wisconsin, where officials are offering conflicting explanations as to how Donald Trump’s supposed vote total in the state has gone down by five thousand votes since the original election tally.
But this does mean that two of the three states facing recounts have already voluntarily admitted that they each initially misstated their voting totals in Donald Trump’s direction by thousands of votes – and these are in states where the current supposed winning margin is only around ten thousand votes (Michigan) or twenty thousand votes (Wisconsin). If the states themselves have already acknowledged and corrected that they were off by thousands of votes in Trump’s direction, how many more might the recounts uncover?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report