Just twelve hours after a midnight ruling from a federal judge who announced that a statewide recount in Michigan must immediately proceed, the recounting of the votes in th state is officially underway. This is the second 2016 recount which has been successfully trigged by third party candidate Jill Stein. She appeared in front of Trump Tower today, subverting the media’s seeming desire to only want to cover his antics instead of the crucial recount effort, and she revealed a number of key details about the Michigan recount while standing on his doorstep.
The first major revelation from Jill Stein today was her confirmation that the votes will be recounted by hand statewide, per the judge’s order. Last night’s reports hadn’t specified whether it would be done by hand or by machine. This process is far more likely to uncover machine errors and irregularly filled out ballots, as well as to expose any potential cheating or rigging within the state. Stein also made clear that her focus is on the unusually large number of “blank” or “undervote” ballots in the state, particularly in the Detroit area.
We reported last week that according to official tallies as many as 87,810 voters in Michigan had ballots which cast a vote for some downticket race but not for president. This number was far higher than in past elections, and stood out as being particularly odd when one considers that 2016 was the rare year in which Michigan had neither a Governor not a Senate race on the ballot – begging the question of why so many people would show up and vote for obscure races, but leave the presidential ballot blank.
Stein is now focused on these “undervote” ballots as well, which she pointed out during today’s press conference (source link: Stein’s official Facebook page), came largely from areas like Detroit and Wayne County, which are heavily African-American. It raises the question of whether improperly maintained machines in low income precincts may have simply failed to record the presidential votes on those ballots, or if those votes may have been intentionally scuttled. The now-underway hand recount should expose any such instances. Wayne County went heavily for Hillary Clinton, but not at the level expected, suggesting, some of Clinton’s votes may have indeed been scuttled.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report