Michigan to begin recount; legal fight moves to Pennsylvania

December 5, 2016

   
           

Attorney Mark Brewer, who appeared on behalf of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, addresses the Michigan Board of State Canvassers regarding Stein's request of a statewide presidential election recount, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich.

Presidential candidate Jill Stein's fight to force presidential recounts in three states focuses Monday on Pennsylvania, where her Green Party is seeking an emergency federal court order for a statewide recount, and Michigan, where a federal judge has ordered a hand recount to begin by noon.

The recount is underway in Wisconsin.

President-elect Donald Trump narrowly defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in all three states. The recounts were not expected to change enough votes to overturn the result of the election.

Stein says her intent is to verify the accuracy of the vote. She has suggested, with no evidence, that votes cast were susceptible to computer hacking.

She has also scheduled a rally and news conference for Monday morning outside Trump Tower in New York.

Here's what's going on in each state and in Nevada, where a partial recount of the race was requested by independent presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente:

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WISCONSIN

The recount began Thursday and continued over the weekend, with little change so far in the unofficial results as reported on election night. A federal lawsuit was filed late last week by a Trump voter and two super PACs seeking to stop the recount. The judge rejected a request to halt the recount while the lawsuit is pending and scheduled a hearing for Friday. State and local election officials have all said they don't expect Clinton to surpass Trump in Wisconsin, where he won by about 22,000 votes.

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MICHIGAN

A federal judge late Sunday night in Detroit ordered a statewide hand recount of roughly 4.8 million ballots to start by noon Monday. Trump won the state by about 10,700 votes, or two-tenths of a percentage point, over Clinton.

Stein argued that a law is unconstitutional that requires a break of at least two business days after the Board of Canvassers' final action on a recount request. Judge Mark Goldsmith found that Stein had "shown the likelihood of irreparable harm" if the count was delayed even by two days and rejected the state's arguments about the cost to taxpayers.

Trump defeated Clinton by 10,704 votes, or two-tenths of a percentage point, in Michigan. Stein received about 1 percent of the vote.

Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Trump campaign and super PACs have filed separate lawsuits asking state courts to prevent the recount, arguing that Stein, as the fourth-place finisher, is not "aggrieved" because she has no chance of winning in a recount.

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PENNSYLVANIA

The Green Party said Saturday it will seek help in federal court to force a statewide recount a move that came hours after the party dropped a case set to be argued Monday in state courts. An updated count Friday by state election officials showed Trump's lead shrinking to 49,000 from 71,000 over Clinton, out of 6 million votes cast, as more counties finish counting overseas ballots and settled provisional ballot challenges. That is still shy of Pennsylvania's 0.5 percent trigger for an automatic statewide recount. Stein drew less than 1 percent of the votes cast. Final counts are outstanding in some counties, but there are not enough uncounted votes to change the outcome, officials say.

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NEVADA

A recount of a sample of ballots has begun in Nevada, at the request of De La Fuente. Clinton won in Nevada, and De La Fuente finished last. But De La Fuente requested and paid about $14,000 last week for the recount, which he called a counterbalance to the review sought by Stein in Wisconsin. Nevada Secretary of State spokeswoman Gail Anderson said late last week that the recount of ballots from Carson City and Douglas, Mineral, Nye and Clark counties should be completed by Friday. If the sample shows a discrepancy of at least 1 percent for De La Fuente or Clinton, a full recount will be launched in all 17 Nevada counties. Clinton won the state by 27,202 votes over Trump, out of 1.1 million votes cast.

 

 

Associated Press