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Recount set in Plymouth Township clerk's race  (MI)

Brad Kadrich    HometownLife   25 August 2008

Voters and candidates wondering who officially won the clerk’s race in Plymouth Township will have to wait a couple more weeks to find out.
Representatives of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers will be in Plymouth Township Tuesday, Sept. 9, to conduct a manual recount in the clerk’s race between deputy clerk Joe Bridgman and political newcomer Mary Ann Prchlik. The recount starts at 8:30 a.m.; the certification meeting is set for 2 p.m.

Bridgman was announced as the winner following the Aug. 5 primary, beating Prchlik by 150 votes (1,920 to 1,770) in balloting tabulated that night.

Three days later, Prchlik signed a letter that was delivered to township clerk Marilyn Massengill, seeking the recount.

“I welcome (the recount),” Massengill said. “I’m confident our results are correct, but most of all I want to make sure everything is right.”

In the letter Prchlik alleged three instances of “mistakes or fraud” she claims took place during the counting of the ballots:

- Arithmetical, computational and like errors affecting the final tabulation of votes, including, but not limited to, errors in recording votes for candidates in certain precincts and errors in transferring vote totals from machines to poll books.

- Errors in determining spoiled ballots, which errors may have had the effect of excluding votes for candidates which should have been counted and excluding votes which should not have been counted; and

- Other errors or tampering which did cause the official tally of votes to inaccurately state the actual tally of votes.

Prchlik took great care to point out she’s not accusing anyone of malfeasance, but she suspects there were equipment or human errors.

“When I had a chance to look over the results, I believe errors could have been made, either human handling errors or in the machine processing,” said Prchlik. “There were some odd things in the results.”

Massengill said some 500 absentee ballots were spoiled, largely by voters who unknowingly split their ticket between Republican and Democrat races, a no-no in Michigan primary voting.

The only other problem, she said, came when the battery on a memory card in one precinct failed, forcing those votes to be recounted.

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