DETROIT — State Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) introduced legislation today, HB 4161, requiring that a recount include every precinct’s ballots cast.
Currently, when a recount is conducted, all ballots of a precinct using an electronic voting system are recounted unless: the seal on the ballot container is broken or has a different number than what is recorded in the poll book; the number of ballots to be recounted and the number of ballots indicated on the poll list or computer printout are mismatched; and/or the seal used to seal the ballot label assembly to a voting device in the precinct is broken or has a different number than what is recorded in the poll records.
“If a recount is necessary, then we should be looking at every single precinct and every ballot cast in order to get an accurate count,” said Chang. “Disqualifying ballots because of human error that is not the fault of the voters whose ballots are in those containers is wrong. If anything, it seems that those precincts should be even more of a priority to recount given the mismatch.”
Chang introduced the bill because last December state officials learned that, due to a large number of discrepancies such as those listed above, thousands of ballots would have ineligible for the recount of the presidential election. Officials such as Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey have publicly called for legislation to revise the recount law to address this issue.