POLITICS

Federal Judge: Michigan Recount To Start Immediately

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.

The recount effort garnered additionalcredibility when the director of the University of Michigan Centerfor Computer Security and Society, J. Alex Halderman published perceivedirregularities in voting systems in key Midwestern states. Thereport, while saying that a hack may be unlikely, highlightedconcerns that hackers may have infiltrated the electronic votingsystems in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Trump wonMichigan by a little over 10,000 votes.
The Clinton campaign recently confirmedit’s involvement in the recount effort, and is reportedlyorganizing volunteers in Michigan. (RELATED: Report: Clinton Begs For VolunteersTo Help With Michigan Recount)
Stein has retained formerState Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer in the recount effort.Brewer argued that the large number of ballots that left thepresidential portion blank represented a scenario that is“sufficient to change the result” of the election, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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)

In Pennsylvania, Steinofficially requested for a recount Nov. 28, but confirmed that they are no longerseeking a recount in the Keystone state.

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