sunny.png
Wednesday February 24th, 2021 12:52PM

Minor discrepancies at heart of GOP effort to overturn vote

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Poll book problems, unbalanced precincts and false reads are at the heart of the Republican Party's long shot efforts to toss out thousands of votes in Detroit and other largely Black cities that contributed to Joe Biden's victory in Michigan.

Experts say those issues are present in all elections and almost never indicate any serious threat to the integrity of the results.

There has been no evidence of widespread voting fraud in Michigan or any other state. And federal and state officials from both parties have declared the 2020 election safe and secure. But President Donald Trump and his allies have spent two weeks raising false claims of fraud, pressuring Republican officials and refusing to concede to Biden.

A state canvassing board is expected to begin certifying election results Monday from each of Michigan’s 83 counties, including Wayne County, where two Republican county canvassers this week grudgingly certified the election after noting what they called ballot “discrepancies” in Detroit precincts.

Some answers to basic questions about the canvassing and certification process:

Q: WHAT HAPPENED TO HOLD UP THE CERTIFICATION?

A: Republicans Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, who sit on a Wayne County election board, initially tried to block routine certification of the vote and then reversed themselves, only to try again to revert to their original position — something the Michigan secretary of state says cannot be done.

Palmer and Hartmann were appointed in May by the county clerk, a Democrat. They were recommended by the Republican Party to fill spots after two other Republicans on the board resigned, according to the county.

Palmer cited claims that certain Detroit precincts were out of balance, meaning that absentee ballot books did not match the number of ballots cast. Hartmann said he changed his vote to certify the election because canvassers agreed to seek an audit of Detroit’s election performance.

Q: WHAT ARE POLL BOOKS?

A: Electronic poll books are computer software used in polling places on Election Day. The software allows poll workers to look up a voter’s registration record, confirm the registration and assign a ballot to that voter. This automates the typical paper process. After the election, the software generates reports to complete the official precinct record, which is a paper poll book, and a voter history file.

Q: WHAT ARE OUT-OF-BALANCE PRECINCTS?

A: A precinct is said to be out of balance when the total number of ballots tabulated and the total number of voters who were issued a ballot do not agree. Fixes include verifying that all absentee ballots have been processed and tabulated by going through return envelopes and verifying that every absentee voter is included in the poll book total.

“Somebody opened the ballots and counted them,” said Michael Traugott, a research professor in the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan. “They know how many ballots there were. Then they counted the votes for the candidates, and they don’t match exactly.”

The Republican canvassers “got hung up about the city of Detroit,” Traugott said.

Q: WHAT ARE FALSE READS IN ABSENTEE BALLOTS?

A: False reads is a term used to describe any situation where the tabulator rejects a ballot due to a correction such as an erasure, a stray mark or an invalid write-in vote. Ballots rejected as blank may also be the result of a false read if a voter has made an improper mark or used an improper marking tool.

Q: WHAT ARE OTHER EXAMPLES OF VOTING DISCREPANCIES?

A: Traugott says if a voter gets handed a ballot and then has to wait in line and leaves, that throws off the total vote count. Other potential problems include ballot scanners that get jammed or ballots that cannot be read because voters filled them out improperly.

Q: WHAT ARE POST-ELECTION AUDITS?

A: The audits are reviews of procedures performed before, during and after an election. They include a review of voted ballots with a hand tally of select contests. The review of voted ballots will verify that the equipment used to count votes worked properly and yielded an accurate result.

Q: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

A: Palmer’s and Hartmann’s concerns are sure to be brought up next week during the statewide canvassing. There are two Republicans and two Democrats on the state Board of Canvassers, meaning another 2-2 deadlock could occur.

The issue would then go before the Michigan Court of Claims, according to former Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas.

Thomas, who served as an advisor to the Detroit city clerk for the general election, said the 172,000 absentee ballots received and processed by the city likely caused some problems in Detroit.

“I think there’s a volume issue in Detroit that no other jurisdiction deals with,” Thomas said.

To handle the massive amount of ballots, the city clerk’s office also brought on a “lot of new people who have never” done that kind of election work before, Thomas added.

“We’ve seen nothing nefarious going on,” he said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, AP Entertainment
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Global shares mixed amid tug of war between hope, fear
Global shares are mixed in muted trading amid a continuing conflict between current worries about the worsening pandemic and optimism that vaccines will rescue the economy in the future
3:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
Azerbaijani army enters territory ceded by Armenian forces
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry says units of the Azerbaijani army have entered the Aghdam region, a territory ceded by Armenian forces in a cease-fire agreement that ended six weeks of heavy fighting over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh
2:53AM ( 2 hours ago )
Week 12: Big Ten unbeatens, Bedlam and Lawrence returns
The Big Ten's four unbeaten teams square off Saturday in two games that could go a long way toward settling the division races
2:18AM ( 2 hours ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Criminal probe, legal fights await Trump after White House
President Donald Trump’s legal entanglements are likely to intensify when he leaves the White House and loses immunity from prosecution
1:01AM ( 3 hours ago )
Wilson throws for 2 TDs, Seahawks hold off Cardinals 28-21
Russell Wilson rebounded from his worst performance of the season to throw for two touchdowns, and the Seattle Seahawks moved back on top of the NFC West with a 28-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals
12:56AM ( 4 hours ago )
Ladies' night at Latin Grammys: Lafourcade, Rosalía win big
A year after Rosalía made history by becoming the first solo female performer in 13 years to win the top prize at the Latin Grammys, Natalia Lafourcade followed in her footsteps with a big win at the 2020 show
12:51AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP National News
The Latest: South Korea leaders urges public to stay at home
South Korea’s prime minister has urged the public to avoid social gatherings and stay at home as much as possible as the country’s coronavirus tally hovered above 300 for a third consecutive day
9:29PM ( 7 hours ago )
Mexico becomes 4th country to hit 100,000 COVID-19 deaths
Mexico has passed the 100,000 mark in COVID-19 deaths, becoming only the fourth country _ behind the United States, Brazil and India _ to do so
9:24PM ( 7 hours ago )
Georgia hand tally of votes is complete, affirms Biden lead
A hand tally of the ballots cast in the presidential race has been completed
9:12PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Joe Biden wins Georgia, flipping the state for Democrats
Joe Biden has won Georgia and its 16 electoral votes
7:59PM ( 9 hours ago )
Georgia presidential hand tally done; affirms Biden lead
A top Georgia election official says a hand tally of the ballots cast in the presidential race has been completed, and that the results affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow lead over Republican President Donald Trump
7:24PM ( 9 hours ago )
Anomalies found in data put census deadline in jeopardy
The director of the Census Bureau says irregularities have been found during the numbers-crunching phase of the 2020 census
6:54PM ( 10 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Supreme Court clears way for federal execution in Texas case
The U.S. Supreme Court is clearing the path for the federal government to carry out the execution of a man convicted of kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old Texas girl, bludgeoning her with a shovel and burying her alive
11:27PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Romney slams Trump efforts as 'undemocratic'
Two Republican senators are criticizing President Donald Trump and his team for their efforts to pressure state and local election officials to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victories in several closely contested states
11:24PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Hawaii imposes new COVID-19 travel restrictions
Gov. David Ige says anyone flying to Hawaii will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their departure for the state, with the new rule going into effect two days before Thanksgiving
11:17PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
In Wisconsin, long shot recount may just be prelude to court
President Donald Trump faces an almost impossibly high bar to reverse his election loss in Wisconsin by closing a deficit of some 20,500 votes
7:01PM ( 10 hours ago )
Minor discrepancies at heart of GOP effort to overturn vote
Poll book problems, unbalanced precincts and false reads are at the heart of the Republican Party's long shot efforts to toss out thousands of votes in Detroit and other largely Black cities that contributed to Joe Biden’s victory in Michigan
5:43PM ( 11 hours ago )
Trump summons Michigan GOP leaders for extraordinary meeting
President Donald Trump has summoned Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders to the White House for an extraordinary meeting Friday
5:36PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Elections
State: Too late for Detroit-area county to yank election OK
Officials say Michigan’s largest county can’t yank certification of election results, even if Republican canvassers now are having second thoughts again
11:42AM ( 17 hours ago )
Biden reaches out to governors as Trump stymies transition
Joe Biden’s meeting Thursday with a group of Democratic and Republican governors is his latest attempt to fight through President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to block the president-elect’s transition to power
11:10AM ( 17 hours ago )
Wisconsin recount cleared to begin after partisan fight
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to issue an order to recount ballots cast in two heavily Democratic counties, but only after hours of partisan squabbling
9:56AM ( 19 hours ago )
General Election News
Jake Scott, former Miami safety, Super Bowl MVP, dies at 75
Former NFL safety Jake Scott has died at 75
9:24PM ( 7 hours ago )
Rosalía, Ozuna, Bad Bunny win early Latin Grammys
Spanish singer Rosalía made history when she won album of the year at last year’s Latin Grammys and she continued her winning streak Thursday, picking up three more honors during the pre-ceremony ahead of the 2020 show
6:32PM ( 10 hours ago )
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrate 73rd anniversary
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are celebrating their 73rd wedding anniversary on Friday
5:13PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Global shares mixed amid tug of war between hope, fear
Global shares are mixed in muted trading amid a continuing conflict between current worries about the worsening pandemic and optimism that vaccines will rescue the economy in the future
3:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
Azerbaijani army enters territory ceded by Armenian forces
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry says units of the Azerbaijani army have entered the Aghdam region, a territory ceded by Armenian forces in a cease-fire agreement that ended six weeks of heavy fighting over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh
2:53AM ( 2 hours ago )
Week 12: Big Ten unbeatens, Bedlam and Lawrence returns
The Big Ten's four unbeaten teams square off Saturday in two games that could go a long way toward settling the division races
2:18AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Hong Kong to close more schools to fight virus
Hong Kong has suspended in-person classes for lower primary school students after the city’s top health official said the coronavirus situation in the city was rapidly deteriorating
1:59AM ( 3 hours ago )
US government executes man convicted of killing Texas teen
The U.S. government has executed a man who kidnapped and raped a 16-year-old Texas girl before dousing her with gasoline and burying her alive
1:25AM ( 3 hours ago )