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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Michigan's GOP Efforts To Stop Stein's Recount Exposes State Voter Suppression

Independent Underground News & Talk - Photo Credit - PoliticsUSA
Photo Credit - PoliticsUSA 

Keeping focus can be difficult to do in the current political recount teapot in Michigan. 
 Currently, there is a recount of all votes in the of Michigan taken on November 8, on behalf of Green Party Candidate Jill Stein's Campaign. 
Yet, thousands of votes might remain unrecounted in the State's Largest City of Detroit, and Michigan Republicans are actively trying to stop the recount by lame-duck enacting a retroactive bill.
Cause and Effect. The words that can have many meanings.

In the case of Michigan's Presidential Recount of the 2016 Election, the Cause was a question of how Democratic Party Hillary Clinton lost Michigan by the smallest margin in the State's Presidential Election history, 10,704 votes.

The Effect is a recount request by Green Party Candidate Jill Stein which is actively taken place by a U.S. District Court Judge Order on December 5.
"A federal judge has ordered Michigan election officials to begin a massive hand recount of 4.8 million ballots cast in the presidential election at noon Monday," according to The Detroit News. 
U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a ruling just after midnight Monday in favor of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who sought to let election officials bypass a two-business-day waiting period that would have delayed start of the recount until Wednesday morning."
Another Effect would be finding out by the recount request upwards of thousands of ballots might not be available for recounting in the State's Largest Democratic-leaning City of Detroit. This effect should be worrying for all desiring fair and just elections in Michigan.

According to the Detroit News, 392 of the City of Detroit's 662 precincts are unavailable for recounted due to ballot numbers not matching poll book data.
"..In heavily Democratic Detroit, where the number of ballots in precinct poll books did not match those of voting machine printout reports in 59 percent of precincts, 392 of 662," according to the Detroit News 
According to state law, precincts whose poll books don’t match with ballots can’t be recounted. If that happens, original election results stand".
A subsequent Effect should be called out by its name: Voter Suppression.

Voter Suppression occurs when a group of voters justly believe their votes will not matter, believe their votes will not be fairly counted or audited, and live an experience in which despite their votes - their daily lives on an average, are not improving. As in the case of Detroiters with over an 80% minority population, votes.
"Voting rights are under attack nationwide as states pass voter suppression laws. These laws lead to significant burdens for eligible voters trying to exercise their most fundamental constitutional right," said the ACLU. 
Since 2008, states across the country have passed measures to make it harder for Americans—particularly black people, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities—to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot."
Voter Suppression also includes the highly questionable House Bill 6097, sponsored by West Michigan Lame Duck Republican, Lisa Posthumus Lyons.

House Bill 6097 seeks to enact a "Grandfathered" and "Retroactive" measure requiring Green Party Candidate Jill Stein to pay the estimated costs associated with the Presidential Election Recount in Michigan, after the recount began on December 5, 2016.
"HB 6097 would require candidates more than 5 percent of the vote behind the winner to pay the entire actual cost of a statewide recount, and it would be retroactive to the beginning of 2016. It would only apply to statewide and federal offices," said MLive. 
A recount of Michigan's vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election began Monday. Stein, the Green Party's presidential candidate, is paying a required fee of $973,250, but Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has said the actual cost could be $2 million or more. 
Michigan Republican Party officials believe the full cost could be much higher. Eric Doster, an attorney for the state party, said the cost could reach up to $12 million."
However, at this point, it is an unknown entity what the actual or estimated costs of Stein's recount would be.

Furthermore, it is known that thousands of ballots in the State's Largest City of Detroit might be unavailable to be recounted at all.

That without Green Party Candidate Jill Stein request for a Recount of Michigan's Presidential Election, it is highly doubtful the general public would have known about the on-going issues in 2009, 2013 and now 2016, with recounting votes in Detroit.

State Representative Jeff Irwin, a Democrat from Ann Arbor, Michigan questioned Republican Representative Posthumus Lyons inherent need to make House Bill 6097 "Retroactive".
"Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, questioned making the proposed law retroactive, saying it was unfair "to change the rules in the middle of the game," according to MLive. 
He argued the current recount is serving as an important "audit" of the process that could uncover fraud as well as "simple incompetence" by election officials. 
"Sometimes when we do these recounts, we find irregularities that are worth looking into," Irwin said.
Discovering irregularities is likely scratching the surface on what pose to be an issue with any chance of Democrats actively competing with Michigan Governor's race in 2018, with any candidate -- as well as ensuring all votes are fairly counted in Democratic-Leaning Detroit.

Which turns back to the issue of Voter Suppression. An issue that all Michiganders believing in the Right to Vote should be Unfettered, should stand strongly for.

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