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Clinton gains 65 votes in Ingham County recount

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Ingham County completed its presidential election recount Wednesday, with Hillary Clinton gaining a net increase of 65 votes over President-elect Donald Trump.

Clinton’s vote total increased by 138 in Ingham County, while Trump gained 73 more votes than were recorded on Election Night, according to the county’s recount report.

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who requested Michigan’s statewide recount, lost two votes in Ingham County in the recount. Libertarian Gary Johnson gained two votes, according to the report.

Ingham and Oakland counties kicked off the statewide recount mid-day Monday under order by a federal judge, who was weighing whether to end the recount after a state Appeals Court said Stein’s recount petition was unlawful.

Oakland County has completed recounting all of its 520 polling precincts, and workers are now recounting absentee votes from 505 absentee precincts, county elections director Joe Rozell said.

“If the recount teams keep at their current pace, we will likely be done late tomorrow,” Rozell said Wednesday afternoon.

Rozell said 26 of Oakland County’s 520 precincts were not recountable.

A couple of precincts had canvass ballot bags that ripped at some point between Election Day and transport to the county’s recount center, making them unrecountable under state law because of the potential for tampering, he said.

Rozell said the “vast majority” of precincts had mismatched numbers between how many ballots were in the sealed bags and how many were recorded in the precinct’s poll book.

When a precinct is deemed unrecountable, the certified results from the Nov. 8 election stand.

The issue of precincts not being recountable gained national attention this week after The Detroit News first reported Monday that one-third of the precincts in Wayne County could be unrecountable because of irregularities in the number of votes recorded in election records.

In Ingham County’s recount, 23 of 208 precincts were deemed unrecountable for a variety of reasons besides having numbers in the ballot boxes that didn’t match the number of ballots recording in the precinct poll book, Byrum said.

Some precincts were excluded from the recount because there were tears in the suitcase-like ballot bags that left them susceptible to tampering, she said.

In Meridian Township, which borders East Lansing, six precincts were not recountable because election workers put a seal on the ballot bag that’s only supposed to be used for local elections, not a statewide general election, Byrum said.

“As an election official, it is always extremely concerning and frustrating when a precinct is not recountable,” she said.

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood