Politics

Michigan Recount Could Cost Taxpayers $4 Million

Green party candidate Jill Stein filed a request for recount Wednesday in the state of Michigan, following through on her promise to pursue recounts in three states that delivered the election to President-elect Donald Trump.

Stein requested a hand recount of the state’s presidential election ballots, a process that will take a tremendous amount of resources in order to a Dec. 13 deadline. (See Official Recount Request here, courtesy of the Detroit News)

Michigan’s Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said that the cost of a recount of the 4.8 million ballots could total $5 million. Stein’s attorneys submitted a $973,250 check at the state Bureau of Elections Wednesday (the legally required fee for a recount), leaving the remaining cost on state and county governments.

Michigan election officials released the official vote totals Monday, after a lengthy process to certify the Nov. 8th results. (RELATED: Michigan Officially Certifies Results As Officials Prepare For Recount)

Donald Trump received 2,279,543 votes, while  former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, received 2,268,839 votes. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 172,136 votes, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein hauled in 51,463 votes.

The recount effort garnered additional credibility when the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, J. Alex Halderman published concerns that hackers may have infiltrated the electronic voting systems in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Trump won Wisconsin by 27,000 votes, Michigan by a little over 10,000 votes and Pennsylvania by 70,000. 
The Clinton campaign recently confirmed it’s involvement in the recount effort, and is reportedly organizing volunteers in Michigan. (RELATED: Report: Clinton Begs For Volunteers To Help With Michigan Recount)
Stein has retained former State Democratic party chairman Mark Brewer in the recount effort. A certified recount in Michigan is not automatically granted, according to the Detroit Free Press. The Trump campaign has seven days to object to the recount.
If the Trump campaign objects, the Board of State Canvassers would then schedule a hearing (which could happen in mid-December), and then issue a ruling on the hearing within five days.

The Wisconsin recount is underway, with state officials racing against the clock in order to complete the recount in time to have it’s electoral votes certified when the Electoral College meets Dec. 19. Proponents of the recount effort argue that Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners/paper ballots. The group of concerned academics and lawyers claim that Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes (she lost Wisconsin by 27,000 votes).

In Pennsylvania, Stein officially requested for a recount Monday. While Stein received less than 50,000 votes in the Keystone state, she contends that the recount is in order to build trust in the election system. “We need to verify the vote in this and every election so that Americans of all parties can be sure we have a fair, secure and accurate voting system,” the former Green party candidate said in a statement.
Stein’s efforts have led to a fundraising bonanza for the Green Party itself. The group has raised over 7 million dollars as a part of the recount efforts, but it has refused to pledge all of the funds for recount efforts.

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