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Recount of Michigan's presidential election ballots ordered to start at noon today

Voters in Midland cast ballots for Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians on Tuesday.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Voters in Midland cast ballots for Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians on Election Day.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued his ruling regarding the presidential recount a little after midnight, following a rare Sunday hearing in his Detroit courtroom.

Goldsmith heard arguments over the logistics of the recount and how much the state would have to spend, but in his written opinion, he said what’s most important is the integrity of the presidential election in Michigan.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein's lawyers argued that waiting until Wednesday to start a recount would cut too close to the Dec. 13 deadline to have it finished.

Without Goldsmith’s opinion, the recount would have started late tomorrow or Wednesday at the earliest. But citing concerns over voting rights and perceived election integrity, Goldsmith ordered the the recount should begin today at noon.

Mark Brewer is an attorney for the Stein campaign who requested the recount.

“That was our goal, to try to get the recount started before Wednesday.”

Brewer says there’s no reason to wait. 

“The state is ready to go. They were ready to go Friday. So, there’s nothing involved, other than saying, let’s start.”

The Michigan Republican Party issued a statement saying they are “outraged” by Stein’s push for a recount.

They say they will seek to overturn the ruling. From their statement:

“We are exploring every possible avenue available to us and still believe that this recount is an incredible waste of Michigan taxpayers' money. This judicial opinion throws our process into chaos when our law provides for an orderly procedure. We will vigorously pursue any and all options available to us to overturn this ruling and to end this recount.”

The recount of 4.8 million ballots would be the largest in Michigan history.

Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes in Michigan. Stein received about 1% of the vote.

State law required a delay of two business days after an elections board met Friday to decide challenges to the recount.

The Green Party is trying to force a federal court order for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. A recount is underway in Wisconsin.

In Nevada, a partial recount of the race was requested by independent presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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