Recount ahead of schedule in Ingham County

Posted at 6:20 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 07:19:35-05

 Ingham County is ahead of pace on the presidential recount and could be finished by Wednesday morning, half the time predicted.

In two days, 60 workers have been plowing through more than 130,000 ballots..

"I don't want to jinx myself," County Clerk Barb Byrum said.

Superstitions aside, Byrum says finishing ahead of schedule could cut the county's costs since each day it takes nearly $8,000 just to pay counters.

"We have security at night for the ballots, there are things that I should be doing and my staff should be doing that don't involve the recount so all those things are being put on hold right now," she added.

While the pile of ballots left to count Tuesday afternoon was considerably smaller than what was already done, Byrum says those could be more complex and time consuming.

"We're starting to work on absentee counting boards," she explained.

Those ballots require an extra step because multiple precincts can be combined in one bag.

"Those are different piles that need to be sorted and then sorted based on candidate and counted," Byrum added.

Stephanie McLean, who says she's counted close to 4,000 ballots, knows her team is up to the challenge.

"People are in good spirits and every one is after the some objective, which is you know making sure every vote counts," she said.

So far six precincts in Ingham have been left out of the recount because the bags split open or the seals were broken, issues Byrum says were likely caused in transit. In those cases the certified election results will stand.

As of Tuesday night, Byrum scheduled the Board of Canvassers and Secretary of State's Office to certify Ingham's recount results on Wednesday.