BY CLARK MINDOCK
This article originally appeared on International Business Times.
A crucial county in Michigan that is home to one of the state’s largest African American populations may derail the voter recount efforts in the state.
Over 80 polling machines were reportedly broken on Election Day last month, which has led to concerns that the final electronic vote tallies may be wrong in more than half of Detroit’s precincts and one-third of the surrounding precincts in Wayne County, the Detroit News reported this week. The news came just before a federal judge stopped the recount Wednesday—three days in—a move that has enraged recount supporters.
The fate of the recount is now up to the Michigan Supreme Court, which hasn’t ruled yet on whether or not it will even consider an appeal from Green Party nominee Jill Stein, who has led the effort to double check the vote tally. The court that stopped the recount said that Stein wasn’t impacted by the election results personally and so had no cause to bring the lawsuit or recount forward. It remains unclear if the state of Michigan would pay back part or all of the $973,250 Stein’s campaign to fund a recount in Michigan’s 7,786 precincts.
Should the recount be restarted, those broken machines in Wayne County could pose a real problem to coming up with accurate results and any issues could have major consequences. Hillary Clinton lost Michigan and its 16 electoral votes to President-elect Donald Trump by just 10,704 votes and Wayne County has 1,759,335 people living in it. Ahead of Election Day, Clinton held a lead in 30 of 31 polls compiled by Real Clear Politics in a four-way race and by an average margin of 3.4 percent. In 42 head-to-head matchups, Clinton led Trump in 39 of them and led by as many 14 points in one October poll.
African Americans made up a strong voting bloc for Clinton. According to exit polls, Clinton’s received 88 percent of African-American votes, while Trump received 8 percent.
If the recount goes forward, paper ballots would have to be counted by hand and that total number of voters would then be compared to the poll books where voters signed in. It is unclear how the broken electronic machines would ultimately impact the vote but Detroit’s election director, Daniel Baxter, told Detroit News, that his best guess is that votes would have been counted multiple times when the machines jammed.