Jill Stein campaign files for recount in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — The campaign of Green Party candidate Jill Stein filed a request Wednesday for a recount of nearly 4.8 million ballots cast for president in Michigan.

Mark Brewer, the Michigan-based lawyer representing Stein, arrived at around 1:30 p.m. ET at the Board of Elections with several others representing the campaign. He brought along a check for $973,250, which represents the $125 per precinct that Stein must pay for the recount.

"I and the undersigned members of my slate of electors are aggrieved on account of fraud or mistake in the canvass of the votes by the inspectors of election, and/or the returns made by the inspectors and/or by the Board of County Canvassers and/or by the Board of State Canvassers," Stein said in her request. "I request that all of the precincts and absent voter counting board precincts within the state of Michigan be recounted by hand count."

A recount could begin as soon as Friday in the state's largest 19 counties, followed by the smaller counties, with a goal of finishing the statewide recount by Dec. 10.

John Pirich, a Lansing-based lawyer that the Trump campaign hired, also was on hand for the filing but said he still needs to review the request to determine whether Republicans will try to block it. The state Board of Canvassers has scheduled a 9:30 a.m. Friday meeting to deal with any objections to the recount that might be coming from other presidential candidates.

The board certified the Nov. 8 election results Monday, showing that Republican Donald Trump won the state with a 10,704 margin of victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, the smallest of the margins in states Stein has targeted.

Stein first filed for a recount Friday in Wisconsin, where Trump won by fewer than 30,000 votes, and followed Monday with a recount request in Pennsylvania, where the GOP presidential nominee had about a 70,000-vote margin.

Brewer has acknowledged that he doesn't expect a recount, which Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has estimated could cost as much as $2 million, to change the outcome of the election in Michigan. The state's 83 counties will foot the rest of the recount bill.

The purpose of the recount is to investigate any evidence of mistakes or fraud happening during the counting of the ballots, Brewer said. Stein has said she has no evidence of fraud going into a recount of ballots in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan but wants to ensure the integrity of the election.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, said the recount is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“The filing by Jill Stein is a reckless attempt to undermine the will of Michigan voters," McDaniel said. Jill Stein made her 1% temper tantrum official and will waste millions of Michigan taxpayers’ dollars and has acknowledged that the recount will not change anything regarding the presidential election."

Clinton would have to win recounts in all three states to receive enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

Follow Kathleen Gray on Twitter: @michpoligal

 


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