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Week in Review: The on-again, off-again recount is off for good

Rick Pluta

The ballot recount in Michigan is over. This time, it’s for good.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and Michigan Radio senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry take a look at the short-lived recount and some of the problems it exposed at the polls, particularly in Detroit. They also look at a bill that would make it legal to hunt wolves in Michigan if the bill makes it through this year’s lame duck session in Lansing.


At the beginning of the week, it looked like the recount was on. Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled that the state had to get things started. After several days of courtroom drama, that same judge issued a ruling that effectively brought the recount to end.

The final nail in the coffin came Friday evening after the Michigan Supreme Court denied Jill Stein’s appeal to resume the recount, in a three-to-two vote. So that’s it. Right?

“I guess it’s conceivable that a higher federal court could intervene but extremely unlikely,” Lessenberry said.

Problems at the polls

A Detroit News report this week says nearly a third of Wayne County precincts may have been ineligible for recounting because of broken machines and mistakes by poll workers.

Lessenberry thinks getting a handle on these sorts of problems at the polls is exactly why the state should’ve finished the recount.

“Voting should work smoothly and accurate. It remains to be seen whether there’ll be an effort to fix things before the 2018 election,” he said.

Wolf hunting bill

The state Senate passed a bill this week that would make it legal to hunt wolves in Michigan if the animal is ever removed from the federal endangered species list. In the past, Michigan voters have struck down similar legislation, but wolves were back on the agenda inthis year’s lame duck session.

Lessenberry thinks the reappearance of this issue is due to “a sort of second amendment fanaticism.”

“I am emotionally unable to understand what the appeal is of shooting an animal that looks like a large German Shepherd dog,” Lessenberry said.

Rebecca Kruth is the host of All Things Considered at Michigan Public. She also co-hosts Michigan Public's weekly language podcast That’s What They Say with English professor Anne Curzan.
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