Just one day into the court-ordered Michigan statewide recount, and it’s already become clear why Michigan’s state officials had fought so hard against a recount to begin with. From mysterious holes torn in ballot containers, to mismatched ballot tracking numbers, it’s quickly become apparent that Michigan’s original vote counting effort – which narrowly named Donald Trump the winner in a shockingly unrealistic result – was either extraordinarily sloppy or extraordinarily suspicious.
In fact, some officials in Michigan are now flat out claiming that their precincts can’t be recounted, because the damage done during the original counting process makes it impossible for them to be properly recounted. Of course such a circular argument, that the destruction of evidence by those being investigated should be grounds for not continuing with the investigation, can’t possibly hold up in court. And it suggests that third party candidate Jill Stein, who forcibly initiated the Michigan recount, may have to go right back to the federal judge in question in order to force these precincts to go ahead and recount the ballot containers they tampered with.
According to a report from local newspaper The Detroit News, as many as one-third of the votes in Wayne County and one-half of the votes in Detroit are being flagged by the state as supposedly ineligible for a recount. Perhaps not coincidentally, the most suspicious results of the 2016 presidential election came out of Wayne County.
While Hillary Clinton did win Wayne County as expected, the total number of votes and the size of her victory there were below what any political expert would have predicted. As Stein has already emphasized, a historically large number of ballots in Wayne County supposedly contained votes for obscure downticket races but no vote for president, despite the lack of a Governor or Senate race on the Michigan ballot to bring people to the polls who didn’t care about the presidential race.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report