Federal judge stops recount.

December 7, 2016

Federal judge stops recount. 


LANSING — The Michigan Presidential Election recount has been halted by the same federal judge who previously decided that a recount was allowable. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued his written opinion late Wednesday, several hours after hearing arguments about whether a recount in Michigan is warranted or not.

The Michigan Republican Party and Michigan Attorney General’s office argued it was not, stressing a state appellate court had already decided the issue, and that Goldsmith should respect that 3-0 decision and halt the recount, which started Monday under an order from Goldsmith.  The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Green Party candidate Jill Stein has no standing to seek a recount because she has no chance of winning. She came in fourth place, with 1% of the vote.

“In a huge victory for Michigan taxpayers and the rule of law, this recount is stopped,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement Wednesday. “Our State of Michigan judicial system and the State Board of Canvassers protected Michigan taxpayers from a frivolous recount that would have cost millions of more tax dollars a day.”

The recount for Mason and Oceana counties was scheduled to take place Friday at Ludington City Hall.

“This is a victory for the taxpayers and voters of Michigan who can be assured that their vote will count when the state’s electors meet on December 19,” said Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel. “The courts have affirmed the stance the campaign has maintained from day one: Jill Stein, who received only 1.07% of the vote in Michigan, is not legally entitled to hijack the will of voters and drag them into an arduous and expensive publicity stunt.  Jill Stein’s 1% temper tantrum cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars and would have cost them additional millions of dollars if not for the actions of President-Elect Trump, the Michigan Republican Party, and Attorney General Bill Schuette.”

Attorneys for Stein argued the recount must continue, stressing that the recount thus far has shown numerous voting problems across the state, particularly in Detroit, where more than half of the precincts’ ballots cannot be recounted due to problems that have not been disclosed. They also argued that Stein is an aggrieved party if she participated in an election that was plagued with mistakes or fraud. And the voters of Michigan have a right to know that, too, they said.

“There is no way of knowing whether fraud occurred without conducting the recount,” Stein’s attorney, Hayley Horowitz, told Goldsmith during the hearing, arguing it is “way to early” to know if fraud was an issue.

After the hearing, Stein told the Detroit Free Press that so far, the recount appears to be exposing problems with Michigan’s election process, particularly in low income, minority communities.

“It is revealing some really troubling aspects of how elections are run here,” Horowitz said of the recount. “We think that’s part of the reason the recount should continue — to continue revealing those problems so that  the people of Michigan can see how their election operates.”

Recount opponents argue that that’s not what Michigan’s recount law was intended for. Rather, it was meant to help an aggrieved candidate change the outcome of an election, not to see if there is a problem, they argue.

“Her entire purpose is to audit the Michigan system,” John Bursh, of the Michigan Attorney General’s office, said of Stein in court. He urged the judge numerous times to halt the recount and not stick Michigan taxpayers with a potentially $5 million recount tab for a candidate who has no chance of winning.

“Don’t become the first federal court in the country to order a recount … for a candidate who lost by 2 million votes,” Bursh said.

Attorney Gary Gordon, who represents the Michigan Republican Party,  also urged Goldsmith to stop the recount.

“This candidate is not aggrieved in any sense of the word,” Gordon said of Stein, stressing:  “It’s very unlikely that 2 million mistakes have been made.”

The controversial issue, however, is far from over as an appeal will follow.

WZZM-TV 13 contributed to this story. 



Eats & Drinks

Eats & Drinks

Area Churches