With recount efforts now underway in Michigan - election officials have discovered something strange going on in Wayne County, the home of Detroit, and the largest single county in the state.
In hundreds of precincts, there appear to be discrepancies between the number of ballots issued on election day and the number of ballots recorded in voting machine printouts, probably caused by electronic vote counting machines not working properly in poor neighborhoods on Election Day.
Such widespread problems with electronic machines is a big enough story on its own, but what makes this a bigger deal is a Michigan law that says precincts with discrepancies between issued ballots and recorded ballots are ineligible for a statewide recount.
As the Detroit News reports, this means that
"One-third of precincts in Wayne County could [now] be disqualified from an unprecedented statewide recount… Most of those are 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."
This is obviously terrible news for Democrats.
Any real hope they had of using the recount to flip Michigan from red to blue depended on discovering new votes in Wayne County, and that's just not going to happen if one third of Wayne County precincts are disqualified.
And even if new votes are discovered, they'll be nullified by the losses from the excluded precincts.
This is about more than just one party's electoral hopes, though.
It's about the integrity of the entire election process.
The courts already effectively said there was good reason to double check the legitimacy of Michigan's election results by allowing the recount to go forward.
So if wide swathes of Wayne County aren't included in the recount because the Republican-controlled state put old and defective vote-counting machines in mostly-Black neighborhoods, and therefore those votes won't be counted, what's the point of having a recount at all?
And why should anyone accept the results?
Luckily, there's an easy solution to this: we exclude Michigan's electors from casting their 16 electoral votes in the electoral college votes for Donald Trump.
At this point, that's the only fair thing to do.