Decision Pending On Michigan Recount

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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Michigan election officials await the release of a decision by a federal judge on whether the recount effort should begin immediately Monday morning or wait until Wednesday.

The decision comes after a three-hour emergency hearing Sunday in which attorneys for former Green Party candidate for president Jill Stein argued the recount effort argued that the hand counting of Michigan’s 4.8 million ballots should begin immediately. The quick recount, they assert, would ensure that it can be completed in time for the meeting of the electoral college Dec. 19.

Under Michigan law, state officials must wait two business days after hearing an objection to a recount, before they can start counting, in order to allow a court review of how the state election officials ruled on the objection. The state board of canvassers voted 2-2 on Trump’s objection to Stein’s recount (which results in the objection being rejected), meaning that Wednesday morning is the earliest that a recount could start.

Donald Trump received 2,279,543 votes, while former Secretary 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. Brewer argued that the large number of ballots that left the presidential portion blank represented a scenario that is”sufficient to change the result” of the election, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The recount in Michigan could cost state taxpayers $4 million to $12 million. (RELATED: Stein’s Michigan Recount Could Cost Taxpayers $4 Million)

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 Nov. 28, but confirmed that they are no longer seeking a recount in the Keystone state.

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