A judge has ordered that the Michigan recount begin Monday at noon and that a sufficient number of workers be assigned such that the recount will be completed by the federal deadline of December 13th.
Part of Jill Stein’s grievance pertaining to the Michigan election results was the 75,000 ‘blank votes’ from around the state, but concentrated in Detroit. Apparently, about 75,000 people showed up to vote down ballot, but they didn’t vote for president. That to Stein is suspicious and reason enough to conduct a recount.
There were 4.8 million votes cast in the state. Donald Trump won by a narrow margin of 10,704 votes, and Jill Stein received a total of 51,463. Stein paid a little over $973,000 ($125 per precinct) to cover the cost of the recount, but the total will likely be much more.
So, were these ‘blank votes’ a machine error, or were they human error? That’s part of Jill Stein’s motive. She’s hoping that the recount will shed some light on why so many people showed up to vote for local elections – usually the elections that most voters don’t care about – but for whatever reason didn’t vote for president.
It could be that that many people really did show up to vote, and they didn’t like either candidate. Both candidates had high unfavorable ratings. Even many of those who voted for either of the two major party nominees didn’t support the person they were voting for. Perhaps there were many voters who were disenfranchised and didn’t vote for president.
Jill Stein brought up the 2004 election, and in particular the 90,000 blank votes in Toledo, Ohio which were erroneously marked as blank, found during the Ohio recount in 2004.
I think the voting systems are vulnerable, especially the electronic voting machines. All the concerns that Trump’s supporters had before the election are valid. Those concerns don’t go away just because Trump won.
I actually don’t see a problem with having recounts conducted (as long as they’re completely privately funded, and no taxpayer dollars are used). It doesn’t matter that these few recounts won’t change the results of the election. The problem is that electronic voting machines are essentially designed to be tampered with and leave no evidence of tampering. In that case, doing a recount in places were electronic voting machines were used isn’t going to yield a different result.
Michigan doesn’t use those types of electronic voting machines. However, they use paper ballots which are then fed into a scanner to be counted. If those blank votes were actually not blank, but were in fact marked with a presidential preference that the scanner failed to pick up, that would be a problem. Not necessarily a problem that would change this election, but it would raise concerns enough for future elections.
You don’t have to be a Jill Stein or Hillary Clinton supporter to see that moving to paper ballots completely – and perhaps even counted by hand – would be the best way to ensure that votes are counted properly.
If Trump had lost by similar margins that Hillary lost, wouldn’t his campaign and supporters be demanding recounts? And they’d be within their rights to do so.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com