Michigan recount exposed election mistakes

Posted at 8:34 AM, Dec 14, 2016

With more than 2 million ballots recounted Hillary Clinton only gained 102 votes in Michigan, a minimal difference the state says proves the integrity of our elections.

On Tuesday the State Board of Canvassers met to review lessons learned from the three day presidential recount. While there was no proof of hacking or fraud, the State Elections Director Chris Thomas said the recount revealed dozens of mistakes made by election workers.

"We've learned where some communities need some additional training," Thomas said. "We're going to look through this process and see where others pop up."

Of the nearly 300 precincts that were recounted, Thomas says 10-percent couldn't be included mainly because the number of ballots in the bag didn't match the number recorded. In precincts where the difference was significant, the state is auditing.

"It is unusual that you would open a ballot box and find 50 ballots when there should be 307, so we're going to look at those 20 precincts, make sure all those ballots are accounted for and allay those fears," Thomas explained.

One problem Thomas says was definitely human error has the state considering a new rule.

"Clerks in a few instances, jamming way too many ballots into a bag that then splits the seam, seems like common sense that you shouldn't need a regulation saying you can't do that but that's where we may be," Thomas added.

Nothing is official but Thomas says other changes could involve more training for clerks and additional oversight when the ballots are counted on election night.

"People make mistakes folks, it's not a perfect process but it's the best one we've got," said GOP attorney Eris Doster.

After the meeting, Doster said he is happy with the steps the state is taking, but Jill's Stein's camp said clerks who make mistakes need to be help accountable.

"I think there should be fines levied on clerks personally not something they can pawn off on taxpayers," said Mark Brewer, the attorney representing Stein.

The state agrees there should be more transparency, but Thomas said fines may not be the solution.

"We have a hard enough time finding election inspectors we may have a hard time finding clerks," he added.