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Election attorney urges state audit to extend beyond Detroit

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The Secretary of State says local jurisdictions and school districts in 82 of Michigan's 83 counties are conducting elections today.

The attorney for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says a state inquiry into ballot irregularities shouldn’t focus strictly on problems in Detroit.

The recount last week turned up large discrepancies in 20 Detroit precincts between the number of votes counted and the number of ballots that were stored. That was before the recount was stopped by a court order.

Elections officials say the problem appears to be human error, and there’s no evidence of tampering with the results. But elections attorney Mark Brewer says the problems with ballots were more widespread, and the state should be checking into those, too.

“We had a lot of problems around the state – torn canvas bags, boxes sealed with duct tape, boxes that weren’t locked at all.”

Brewer is an attorney for the campaign of Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, who requested the recount.

Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas says the problem appears to be ballots were left in machines rather than being moved to secure storage containers, and other human errors. But he says there’s no evidence of tampering with the results anywhere in the state.

“Throughout this process, and in many of the court hearings, there were all kinds of allegations that were not substantiated by any facts,” Thomas said.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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