LANSING (WWJ) — It was announced Monday morning that Republican Donald Trump officially won the state of Michigan — and its 16 Electoral votes — by an extremely slim margin.
10,704 votes are all that separated Trump from Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in Michigan. The two-tenths of a percentage point margin, out of 4.8-million votes is the closest presidential race in the state in more than 75 years.
That’s why lawyer Mark Brewer — representing Green Party candidate Jill Stein — says a recount is important.
“No matter what our party, what our background, all of us as citizens and voters want to be sure that when we cast our vote it gets counted,” Brewer said live on WWJ Newsradio 950. “And that’s what this process is about. It’s a very healthy process for us here in Michigan for us to go through this.”
Stein will file the petition on Wednesday, meaning the hand recount will begin on Friday. She will have to pay $125 per precinct – 6,300 in Michigan – for a total cost of $787,500.
The words “fraud” and “rigged” were thrown around a lot during the 2016 Presidential campaign, but Brewer — a former Michigan Democratic Party Chair — says the recount effort isn’t about that.
“We do not have evidence of fraud,” Brewer said. “We are concerned about two things though. One — we know from history that the voting machines in Michigan, these tabulators, miss votes. I’ve seen that in recounts I’ve done in the past and now they’re getting older and older and they’re missing votes. There are 80,000 votes cast in this state which, according to the returns today, contain no vote for President. Those ballots need to be examined by hand.
“We are also concerned about cybersecurity,” Brewer continued, “security of the machines, in terms of hacking — we’ve seen a lot of that around the country, it’s been documented. We’re not saying that it occurred here, but to make sure that it did not affect the election results a hand recount will lay all of those doubts to rest.”
Brewer says the recount will be done in a “very timely” fashion. Stein chose to pursue recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania because the outcomes were so tight.
“It was a great day for Michigan voters here in Lansing because the board voted unanimously to allow a manual recount in the Presidential race, which will ensure and assure all the voters of Michigan that the election was done with integrity and accuracy,” Brewer said.
Brewer said that he doesn’t expect there to be any problems with the Board of Canvassers going forward.
“I commend them today,” Brewer said. “They have had a policy for many years of doing hand recounts in this circumstance, they stuck to that policy today, despite the opposition of Trump and Republican lawyers.”