Jill Stein files for recount in Michigan

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 9:02pm

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, who came fourth in the national popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, requested a recount in the state of Michigan Wednesday. Stein has also called or filed for recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — all states that President-elect Donald Trump narrowly won that were crucial in securing the Electoral College for him. 

Following the suggestion of potential vote manipulation in the three states by researchers including University of Michigan professor J. Alex Halderman, Stein has stated she is pushing for recounts to ensure the integrity of the election results. Last week, a group of computer scientists and election lawyers led by Halderman pointed out the possibility of vote manipulation by hacking in these three states. The group consulted heavily with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, urging her and her team to file for recounts, according to media reports. Though her campaign will participate in Stein's Wisconsin attempt, she has not pursued any recall petitions independently.

Stein, who has also said she believes the use of outdated and unreliable machines could alter the results of such an important election and pointed to the relatively high number of ballots in Michigan without a presidential vote, has raised $6.7 million total for the recounts in the three states. 

The first recount Stein has secured, in Wisconsin, is slated to begin Thursday. Despite Stein's request for a hand count, a judge ruled earlier this week that the recount does not have to happen entirely by hand, allowing instead a facilitated process through a machine. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Stein has paid the Wisconsin Elections Commission $3.5 million and will be billed for any additional costs after the recount is completed by Dec. 12.

In the petition filed Wednesday for Michigan, Stein is also seeking a hand recount. The state, which hasn't voted for a Republican candidate since 1988, was a surprise swing state this election, and Trump won by a narrow margin of 10,704. Michigan’s recount could begin as soon as Friday in the largest of the state’s 19 counties, followed by the rest. The State's Election Commission has said it hopes to finish the recount by Dec. 10, and it is anticipated to cost anywhere between $2 to $4 million. Stein is required to shoulder the bulk of the costs, but what isn't covered by the state's fee of $125 per precinct —which totals to slightly less than a million dollars overall — will fall on individual counties.

However, state Republicans are opposing the recount over concerns that state counties will have to pay for any part of it not covered by Stein’s contributions and have also challenged the necessity of it. 

“Jill Stein’s taxpayer funded temper tantrum will waste millions and will not change anything regarding the Presidential election,” said Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel in a press release. “Jill Stein should withdraw her request immediately, and Michigan Democrats should join in our call for her to do so.”