The president-elect’s formal petition to disallow the recount calls Jill Stein's
request "lawless" and "insulting."
By Beth Dalbey (Patch Staff) - December 1, 2016 4:38 pm ET
Updated. President-elect Donald J. Trump's campaign officially objected Thursday to Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s request for a laborious hand-recount of the state’s nearly 4.8 million ballots. Trump was declared the winner of the state’s 16 electoral votes by a margin of 10,704 votes on Monday.
The campaign said Michigan election officials should not grant "this lawless, insulting request."
Further, the campaign said in the objection that "voters should not risk having the Electoral College door knocked off its hinges all because a 1 [percent] candidate is dissatisfied with the election’s outcome. Given her tiny vote total, (Green Party presidential candidate Jill) Stein does not and could not possibly allege a good faith belief that she may have won the state of Michigan."
Stein filed her recount request Wednesday, along with a check for $973,250 to cover the costs to recount ballots in Michigan’s 6,300 precincts. The Green Party candidate, who received negligible support among Michigan voters, has never said her outcome would change. Rather, she has said she wants to ensure that all votes were counted.
Stein and her attorneys have acknowledged there is no evidence of fraud or impropriety but raised questions about 85,000 ballots with “blank votes” in the presidential race — more than enough to make up for the difference separating Trump and Clinton.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said Wednesday the recount will cost more than $5 million, most of it to be borne by Michigan taxpayers. The state Republican party went further, suggesting costs could soar to $12 million.
The recount was expected to begin Friday, but Trump’s request will delay it, The Detroit News reported. The state Board of Canvassers could rule on the request by 9:30 a.m. Friday, but even then the recount can't start for two business days.
Election officials in Oakland and Ingham counties had hoped to start hand-counting the ballots on Friday, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Now it appears unlikely that the recount — if it is allowed — will be completed by Dec. 10.
Trump in the past has been critical of the recount request, calling it “ridiculous” and “a scam.”
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than 1 percent of the vote overall and wasn't even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount," the -elect said in a statement.
Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, has called the request by Stein a “temper tantrum” that won't change the outcome of the vote.
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Wisconsin Recount: Jill Stein Raises $3.5M to Cover Costs
Jill Stein Won't Appeal After Judge Rejects Hand-Count of Wisconsin Votes
Jill Stein Officially Asks for Michigan Presidential Vote Recount
The recount requests came after a prominent group of election attorneys and computer scientists, including University of Michigan computer science professor J. Alex Halderman, claimed to have uncovered “persuasive evidence” that the election results in the three battleground states could have been hacked.
Stein has also made requests for recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Stein lost a bid for a hand-recount in Wisconsin, but a majority of the counties plan to pursue that option, their right under Wisconsin law. In Pennsylvania, at least six counties have received recount petitions, but the situation in the Keystone State is more complicated than in Michigan and Wisconsin.