Michigan Could Use New Election Legislation, Says State Director of Elections

“At least these non-recountable precincts ought to be recounted,” says Chris Thomas.

Jake Neher/WDET

The recent recount showed multiple problems with voting precincts across Michigan. Those include inaccurately recorded voting numbers rendering many precincts un-recountable.

Many observers noted the irony that those were probably the precincts most in need of a recount.

Chris Thomas is the state director of elections. He says legislation could fix that problem. Thomas says at one time some 30 percent of precincts across the state had mismatches between the number of ballots recorded and actual ballots. But, he says, legislation requiring the clerks’ office to check the ballots helped a lot.

“It went down between 5, 3, 5, 6, 7 percent. Which, you still don’t want but is a vast improvement of 30 percent. So we’re at 10 percent now,” said Thomas.

“At least these non-recountable precincts ought to be recounted,” he said. “If they want to set them aside and make a decision later, fine. But people ought to be able to see what was in the box.”

Thomas recommends further legislation that would allow more transparency and disclosure in un-recountable districts. He says this will help with suspicions that arise when those precincts are disqualified from a recount.  

Other issues unearthed during the 2016 election and recount include out dated voting machines and unskilled volunteers.


  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.