Michigan 2016 Election Audit: No Evidence of Voter Fraud
In response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s request for a statewide recount of the 2016 election, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson ordered the Michigan Bureau of Elections to audit all Michigan election results. A total of 4, 800 precincts were open across the state on Election Day, but 322 polling precincts could not be recounted due to the order of a federal judge to stop the completion of the recount because Jill Stein was not an aggrieved candidate. Of the 136 precincts in Detroit that were a part of the recount 71 were found to be out of balance, meaning the total number of votes did not reflect the numbers reported. The audit also discovered 31 people had voted twice- once in person and once by absentee ballot. Besides the few double votes, the audit found that the imbalances were “almost entirely were caused by precinct worker mistakes.-” rather than by voters intentionally engaging in voter fraud.
To some, the findings from the audit were not unforeseen. Insufficient training for poll workers has been an ongoing concern according to Krista Haroutunian, chairwomen of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.
“The city of Detroit and the entire state have made progress in election administration in recent years, but this audit highlights key areas in need of improvement,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson in a statement to the press. Some of these areas include:
- Changing poll worker training and recruitment strategies by engaging more people who have experience working with high- tech equipment, such as college students and young professionals.
- Ensuring all precinct chairs understand ballot procedures by having them pass a written test; and
- Requesting county boards of canvassers to report when precincts are out-of-balance
The Michigan Bureau of Elections concluded that the audit “found no evidence of pervasive voter fraud” in the state of Michigan.