Lansing, Nov 30: Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein today requested a full hand recount of Michigan’s presidential vote, making it the third state where she’s asked for another look at a race narrowly won by Republican Donald Trump. Stein had previously 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 Friday, though a challenge to the recount by Trump could delay it. 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 USD 973,000 Stein must pay when filing her recount petition.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, where Trump defeated Clinton by roughly 22,000 votes, Stein’s campaign said today 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 campaign decided not to appeal the ruling due to the tight 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.
Also today, the Wisconsin Republican Party filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging that Stein’s recount effort amounts to illegal coordination with Clinton. The complaint contends that Clinton is the only person who could benefit from a recount and that she illegally helped Stein raise money for the recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.