Wayne County Reverses, Certifies Detroit Votes

Hours after deadlocking 2-2, the the Wayne County Board of Canvassers voted unanimously to certify the votes in the state’s largest county, which happens to include Detroit.

Republicans on the panel changed their votes following an outcry from state officials and Detroit voters charging partisanship, The New York Times reported.

Michigan Secretary of State Joycelyn Benson told MSNBC that there were bookkeeping errors that are “par for the course” and “quite common” in all elections, including in 2016, when all counties certified their elections.

In the original vote, a number of absentee ballot poll books were found to be “out of balance” in Detroit, so the board failed to vote to certify the election results, The Detroit News reported.

“Based on what I saw and went through in poll books in this canvass, I believe that we do not have complete and accurate information in those poll books,” Chairwoman Monica Palmer, a Republican, told the News.

The vote was 2-2, deadlocked on party lines as at least four state and federal lawsuits seek to stop the certification of the Nov. 3 election results, according to the report.

“Reckless and irresponsible,” Democrat Board Vice Chairman Jonathan Kinloch told the News.

“Out of balance” poll books were also found in the August primary and the 2016 general election results, but the Wayne County board still had voted to certify the election, per the News.

With a failure to certify, the county sends all documentation to the secretary of state’s officer and Board of State Canvassers. 

The examination of vote tallies in Wayne County began Nov. 5. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers are going to meet Wednesday on the process and is expected to consider certifying the election Monday, per the News.

Detroit’s poll books were found to be 72% out of balance in the August primary. Also, in 2016, vote totals for 59% of the Detroit precincts could not be reconciled, mostly because of finding too many had voted, per the News.

The vote in Michigan is important as President Donald Trump challenges the election outcome, charging voter fraud on a massive scale. He is hoping to have votes discounted in several battleground states that, on their face, appeared to have favored Democrat Joe Biden, who several news organizations declared president-elect. Michigan is one such state in which Biden was the apparent winner, with 16 Electoral College votes.

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