Michigan county opts to count ballots by hand in May vote
BELLAIRE, Mich. – A northern Michigan county that was sued over its fall election count will hand-count ballots in the May 4 primary.
County Antrim commissioners have rejected a request from the county clerk for $5,080 to prepare Dominion voting machines for the upcoming election, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.
Instead, commissioners said ballots would be counted by hand, although Clerk Sheryl Guy, the Chief Electoral Officer, said that might be illegal.
“The state said we couldn’t. But let them come and tell us that we can’t, given our situation, ”commissioner Ed Boettcher said.
The county is still embroiled in a dispute with a resident who accused officials of fraud in the fall election.
Early results in the Republican county showed a local victory for Joe Biden over Donald Trump. But that was attributed to human error, not problems with voting machines, and corrected. Still, a judge made the extraordinary decision to allow forensic images of Dominion election materials.
Guy had offered to hire a contractor to install new hard drives on the machines before the May 4 election.
New machines in the nine electoral districts would cost about $55,000.
“If we do a single (manual count) of the May election…it’s going to cost us money – it’s definitely going to cost us less than $55,000 – and the trial will hopefully be played out by now. there,” Boettcher said. .
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