Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers deadlocked 2-2 Friday, on President-elect Donald Trump’s objection to Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein’s request for a recount of all presidential ballots cast in Michigan. That means a hand recount of the state’s presidential ballots could begin late Tuesday or early Wednesday. The Detroit Free Press reports that the board deadlocked on whether to accept Trump’s protest to the planned recount, as well whether to hold a machine recount — rather than the standard recount. As a result, based on board policy, a hand recount can begin in two business days.
The court challenge filed by Attorney General Bill Schuette puts even a Tuesday or Wednesday recount start in doubt. Schuette asked the Michigan Supreme Court, which has a 5-2 majority of Republican nominees, to block the recount as a costly and pointless exercise. If you want to know more about Schuette’s lawsuit you can read Joe Cunningham’s report here.
Despite the delayed start, Elections Director Chris Thomas said he hopes all 4.8 million ballots can be recounted. He belittles the federal “safe harbor” law that requires states to complete presidential recounts within 35 days of the election to ensure their electoral votes are counted, saying he doubts the Dec. 13 deadline that has been frequently cited is a “real deadline.” He thinks Michigan may have until Dec. 17 — two days before the electoral college is set to meet — to complete its recount.
According to the Free Press, John Pirich, an attorney for Trump, said he couldn’t yet comment on whether Trump, like Schuette, would be suing to stop the recount.
Stein received just over 1 percent of the vote in Michigan. No reasonable person expects the recount to change the outcome.