LANSING (WWJ/AP) – It’s official. The Michigan’s Bureau of Elections has received a recount request from Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein.
The Secretary of State’s office, Wednesday afternoon, confirmed in a tweet that the request is being reviewed.
If the by-hand recount goes forward — which is expected — this will make Michigan the third state narrowly won by Republican Donald Trump where Stein has asked for a second look.
Stein has already requested recounts of the presidential votes in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
President-elect Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes out of nearly 4.8 million ballots cast in Michigan, but Stein alleges that irregularities and the potential for hacking into scanning devices call the results into question.
Michigan’s recount could start as early as this week, though a challenge to the recount by Trump could delay it.
“Of course the Trump campaign strenuously objects to it, saying it’ll cost too much money; that the voters will be disenfranchised,” WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reported. “But the Stein people are saying we have a right to recount, that’s what we want. So barring any legal intervention or reversal by the State Board of Canvassers the recount could begin on Friday.”
Trump’s victory is highly unlikely to be reversed in any of the states, but Stein has said the recount will ensure the integrity of the election.
Republicans have said a Michigan recount would cost taxpayers far more than the $973,000 Stein must pay when filing her recount petition.
Stein’s attorney Jessicia Clark says this is the first time in the nation’s history that there has been a multi-state recount of a presidential election.
She said the Stein campaign believes the recount is necessary to assure there has been no tampering or other problems.
“The aging optical scan technology is prone to errors, including a tendency to miss or misread markings made by voters,” Clark said. “In fact, our campaign has found that more than 75,000 votes in this election are what we call undervotes — votes that machines did not record as selecting anyone for president.”
She said a hand count will ensure the “accuracy, security and integrity” of the election.
“For the last decade, computer scientists have warned about the vulnerabilities of these machines,” Clark added, “including that they can be breached without detection —even after certain security measures are put in place.”
Dave Dulio, Chairman of the political science department at Oakland University, was asked by WWJ’s Sandra McNeill what he expects to come out of this recount effort.
“If there a chance that there’s been some malfeasance, some sketchy behavior where things were hacked — is it possible? Anything’s possible,” Dulio said. “Is it likely? That’s a whole other story; and in fact there have been a number of statements by folks close to the campaigns and certainly with the state that say that there are no signals, no signs of any hacking.”
Dulio said he wonders whether the Michigan recount will be done in time for the Electoral College vote which is set to take place on Dec. 13.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, where Trump defeated Clinton by roughly 22,000 votes, Stein’s campaign said Wednesday that it won’t appeal a judge’s ruling that Wisconsin’s recount can be done without counting every ballot by hand.
Stein spokeswoman Margy Levinson said in an email that the decision to not appeal was made due to the time constraints for completing the Wisconsin recount, which begins Thursday.
The majority of Wisconsin counties planned to do a hand recount of ballots cast even though the judge’s ruling means they can choose to feed the ballots into tabulation machines to double check the counts.
Levinson said Stein’s focus will be on verifying the vote on the ground and she encouraged counties to voluntarily conduct a hand recount.
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