A federal judge has ordered the recount of Michigan’s more than4.8 million presidential ballots to begin at noon Monday.
The judge also ordered the state to “assemble necessary staff towork sufficient hours” in order to complete the recount byDec. 13. Michigan mandates a two-day waiting period beforerecounting votes, which would push the start of the recount toWednesday, but U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith agreed withlawyers that waiting would violate voting rights.
The decision came in early Monday morning,following a three-hour emergency hearing in federal courtSunday. Attorneys for former Green Party candidate Jill Steinargued hand counting Michigan’s 4.8 million ballots should beginimmediately.
Under Michigan law, state officials must wait two business daysafter hearing an objection to a recount before they can startcounting, in order to allow a court review of how the stateelection officials ruled on the objection. The state board ofcanvassers voted 2-2 on President-elect Donald Trump’s objection toStein’s recount, meaning that Wednesday morning was the earliestthat a recount could start — but the judge’s ruling changedthat.
The judge’s decision means that Stein’s attorneys have shown “a credible threat exists and thatthe recount were delayed, would not be completed by Dec. 13,” whichis the federal safe harbor deadline to guarantee Michigan’selectoral votes are counted on Dec. 19.
Trump received 2,279,543 votes, while former Secretary ofState Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee,received 2,268,839 votes after the Election Day tally.Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 172,136 votes,while Stein hauled in 51,463 votes.
Meanwhile, theWisconsin recount is underway, with state officials racing theclock in order to complete before Dec. 19. Proponents of therecount effort argue that Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes incounties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared withcounties that used optical scanners/paper ballots. The group ofconcerned academics and lawyers claim that Clinton may have beendenied as many as 30,000 votes (she lost Wisconsin by 27,000votes). (RELATED: First Day Of Wisconsin Recount NetsHillary One Vote)
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