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Election board to meet on recount results for Michigan ballot proposals

Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers will meet Wednesday to review and affirm the findings of ballot recounts that, even if successful, would not have changed the fact that voters adopted two proposals on the November ballot.

The hand recounts of a small number of precincts focused on Proposals 2 and 3, which added voting rights and abortion rights amendments to the Michigan Constitution. The Proposal 2 recounts were of precincts in Kalamazoo, Macomb, Muskegon and Oakland counties while the Proposal 3 recount spanned precincts in 43 counties.

Both proposals passed by wide margins and these recounts would have been barred if these were candidate races. But there are restraints under state law on candidate recount requests that don’t exist when it comes to ballot proposal recounts.

Jake Rollow with the Michigan Secretary of State said that’s a loophole that allowed these recounts to go forward even though there was zero chance of changing the outcome.

“What this really comes down to is sort of an exercise in futility,” he said.

Rollow also said the payment from the group requesting the recounts – Election Integrity Fund and Force - won’t cover all the costs.

“It will probably be less than $100,000 and the actual cost of carrying out this recount is probably up to about a million dollars,” he said. “And so the difference will be borne by taxpayers.”

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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