UPDATE — 12/8, 8:30 a.m. EST: A U.S. district court judge effectively ended Jill Stein’s ballot recount effort in Michigan Wednesday, deciding that a previous state court ruling, which deemed the Green Party had no legal standing, must be followed.
Michigan state law stipulates that a political candidate must be ‘aggrieved’ to have a vote recount request granted.
The Republican Party filed a motion with the Michigan Court of Appeals asking for the process to be halted, arguing that Stein had not been injured and did not stand to benefit from the recount effort. The Green Party candidate received just over one percent of the total state vote on Nov. 8.
Jill Stein’s campaign filed for emergency relief in federal court to recount all ballots in Pennsylvania from the Nov. 8 election after the Green Party candidate’s lawyers were forced cancel a state hearing scheduled for mid-week due to the $1 million bond ordered paid by late-afternoon on Monday.
“Over the past several days, it has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention,” Stein recount attorney Jonathan Abady said in statement Saturday. “As a result, on Monday the Stein campaign will escalate our campaign in Pennsylvania . . . demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds.”
The original request for a recount was submitted to a state court by Keystone State voters with the backing of the Green Party.
“The judge’s outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation,” Stein said in a separate statement. “No voter in America should be forced to pay thousands of dollars to know if her or his vote was counted.”
Despite the setback, Pennsylvania’s election commission has already authorized vote recounts for 75 precincts in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania is particularly vulnerable to vote manipulation through cyberattack, as only approximately 20 percent of the state’s precincts use paper ballots. Stein is calling for a “forensic analysis” of the remaining 80 percent of voting machines to look for evidence of system intrusion.
However, the Trump campaign and Pennsylvania Republican Party lawyers counter that there is no evidence that voting systems there were compromised and the state does not allow court-ordered recounts by law. Even Pennsylvania’s Democratic Secretary of State Pedro Cortes said that no vote tampering occurred.
The Green Party has also requested recounts in Wisconsin and Michigan, respective efforts that got underway Thursday and Monday.
On Tuesday, Michigan’s recount expanded to a total of eight counties, including Wayne, home of Detroit, where Clinton won approximately two-thirds of the county’s vote. Trump won statewide by only about 10,700 votes.
Watch Jill Stein’s comments to the press outside Trump Tower on Monday below:
[AP] [NPR] [Reuters] [Ruptly] [Politico]