Michigan recount comes to halt, brings system to light

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Michigan’s official recount of the 2016 Presidential election results, which has consumed the nation’s attention — has halted.

On Dec. 5 at noon, Ingham County officially opened its state-ordered recount. Two days later, a federal judge had overturned the earlier ruling. But the county’s results had already been submitted at around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum.

Byrum said she gathered enough workers for the recount in just over 12 hours, a rushed situation. The county had 21 teams on Monday and 30 on Tuesday.

“This was a large project in logistics,” Byrum said.

Out of the around 131,000 votes counted, Hillary Clinton gained 138 votes, Donald Trump had gained 73 votes, according to the Lansing State Journal. Green Party nominee Jill Stein lost two votes in the county.

Political Analyst and University of Michigan professor Timothy Kiska said the recount principle overshadows the price, which he estimated came to about 20 cents a voter. Jill Stein’s campaign paid roughly $1 million at $125 a precinct. The state covered the other half and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson projected it would cost the state nearly $5 million. However, the end of the recount will stop the outpouring of resources from the state.

“Donald Trump brought up whether the elections were rigged or not,” Kiska said. “It’s a cheap investment … to figure out, ‘OK how does this work?’”

Byrum estimated in the beginning of the recount of Ingham County results that the process would cost around $40,000, but the official amount has yet to be released.

State workers in addition to Attorney General Bill Schuette are among those to express anger about the recount saying it was unwarranted and costly.

“It is unusual that a candidate who received just 1 percent of the vote is seeking a recount, especially when there is no evidence of hacking or fraud, or even a credible allegation of any tampering,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said in a statement.

Judge Goldsmiths court document in response to Stein lawsuit

Judge Goldsmiths court document in response to Stein lawsuit

The court ruling came after a federal judge deemed the Stein campaign’s pursuit of a recount reasoning lacked evidence. The Michigan attorney general’s office filed a separate lawsuit against Stein, which is what U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled on Wednesday.

Goldsmith wrote, “The vulnerability of our system of voting poses the threat of a potentially devastating attack on the integrity of our election system. But invoking a court’s aid to remedy that problem in the manner Plaintiffs have chosen — seeking a recount as an audit of the election to test whether the vulnerability led to actual compromise of the voting system — has never been endorsed by any court, and would require, at a minimum, evidence of significant fraud or mistake — and not speculative fear of them.”chart

His ruling effectively ended Stein’s bid. Goldsmith had originally ruled in favor of the recount last week.

At the start of the recount it came to light that several ballots in Detroit would be ineligible for recount, according to the Detroit Free Press. Kiska said the recount is displaying the flaws within the vote counting and the Stein’s campaign used their afforded right to recount.

“Now, we know with increased probability that at least it (rigging) didn’t happen in Ingham County,” Kiska said.

Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s campaign declared its pursuit of a recount in Michigan in addition to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Stein’s campaign petition for the recount brought the conversation back to third parties and their influence in the election.

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, or CIRCLE, Director of Impact Abby Kiesa said youth voters’ interest in third parties and having a more “mixed democratic support.”

“Michigan was one of the states where we thought young people helped Secretary Clinton,” Kiesa said.

Ten percent of young people nationally chose a third party candidate, according to CIRCLE data.

In 2012, the national support went more toward “weak democratic support” so Obama took more votes than Clinton in 2016.

Kiesa said young people kept Michigan in a close race and could have been a main reason why a recount appealed to so many.

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