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Partial recounts of Prop 2 and Prop 3 ballots underway

A challenger documents a problem that prevented one of 16 precincts from being recounted on Tuesday
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
A challenger documents a problem that prevented one of 16 precincts from being recounted on Tuesday

Controversial partial recounts for two Michigan ballot questions are underway.

Proposal 2 on voting rights and Proposal 3 on abortion rights passed by wide margins in November. Officials say the results are not at risk of being overturned by the recount.

Despite that, challengers were busy at a recount site in Midland County Tuesday, where votes from five counties were being counted.

With paper and pen in hand, the challengers stood and watched as ballots from 16 precincts in Midland, Isabella, Iosco, Bay and Clare counties were counted.

Some challengers expressed disbelief when technical reasons prevented recounting ballots in 3 of the 16 precincts.

Midland County Clerk Ann Manary said she hopes the recount removes any concerns about the election process, despite the technical issues.

“I don’t think that anyone should think that ‘Oh my goodness, because I couldn’t recount a precinct that therefore there’s all this election fraud,'” said Manary.

Russ Hyde led a group of challengers in Midland County monitoring the recounts of Proposal 3 election results.

“Recounts like this are an opportunity for us to say, ‘OK. You followed the rule. But we don’t feel like that was the law,” said Hyde.

Hyde said the Midland County challengers will share their findings with those watching other recounts over the next few weeks.

The Republican chair of the Board of State Canvassers, which certifies Michigan's elections, complained that the recount is a "fishing expedition" by those who question the legitimacy of the nation’s elections.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.