Elections Board Allows Michigan Recount, But State Supreme Court Could Intervene

Jake Neher/WDET

UPDATE 12:16 a.m.: A Michigan elections board will allow a recount of the ballots cast in the presidential election to go forward. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers deadlocked along party lines on objections to the recount filed by the state Republican Party and the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump. That occurred as Michigan’s Republican attorney general, Bill Schuette, has asked the state Supreme Court to stop the recount. No decision yet from the court on whether to get involved. ​

Michigan’s ballot recount is delayed until at least Tuesday or Wednesday after an objection was filed to the request by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein. A state elections board meets Friday morning to consider the complaint filed by the state Republican Party and the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump.

Michigan Republican Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel says Stein doesn’t have standing to request a recount because she’s so far behind that she cannot make up enough votes to take the lead. 

She can’t change the course of the election,” said McDaniel. “Jill Stein is not going to end up the eventual winner.”

Stein came in fourth in Michigan with a little over one percent of the vote. Michigan law says a losing candidate can request a recount.

The GOP complaint also says the request for a recount was not properly notarized in Michigan.

The complaint put on hold plans to move ahead with the recount of 4.9 million paper ballots cast in the November 8th election. What happens next depends on how the Board of State Canvassers deals with the objection. The bipartisan board is made up of two Republicans and two Democrats.

If the board adopts the objection, then the recount is over with,” said Fred Woodhams of the state Bureau of Elections. “If they do not adopt the objection, then the recount will go forward, but not until two business days have elapsed. So depending on the time when they do that, it could be Tuesday afternoon, it could be Wednesday when the recount commences.”

The two days give the losing side time to go to court.

The Stein campaign says the recount is necessary not to challenge the result of the election, but to test the integrity of Michigan’s optical scan ballot tallying machines. 

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

About the Author

Rick Pluta

REPORTER / PRODUCER - MICHIGAN PUBLIC RADIO NETWORK

Rick Pluta has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.

Follow @rickpluta

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