UPDATE - DECEMBER 12
Over 2,000 volunteers completed online or in-person trainings across the state in order to participate as recount challengers. As a result, during the three days the recount operated, volunteers observed and challenged ballots at nearly all tables were where staff counted ballots, ensuring that every vote would be counted and every voice would be heard.
While serving as challengers, volunteers observed several breakdowns and shortcomings in the recount process. Many precincts were deemed not recountable because of improper seals, broken seals, or broken containers.
Many precincts were also deemed not recountable because the numbers recorded on the seals did not match the number of ballots in containers or the numbers recorded on the poll sheets. In some instances, local clerks would make an effort to discern why the numbers did not match, while in many instances local clerks or their staff would make limited or no effort and would simply deem the precinct not recountable.
Many election administration staff members who were responsible for counting ballots were not trained sufficiently and were not knowledgeable of voting and counting rules, which slowed down the process and caused inaccurate counts and precincts deemed not recountable when those precincts could have been recounted.
Dr. Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party candidate for President, has announced that she will request a full hand recount in the state of Michigan on Wednesday, November 30. Stein’s campaign is the first-ever multi-state recount following a presidential election, after heightened concern from election experts and across all political parties over hacking and voting irregularities.
Overview of Voting in Michigan
- All voting in Michigan is done through optical scan ballots, which are prone to problems and errors.
- Computer scientists regularly warn about the vulnerabilities of these machines, including that they can be breached without detection and have a tendency to misread markings made by voters. In Michigan, for instance, there were 75,335 under-count tallies – meaning votes that the machines did not record as selecting anyone for president.
- On November 28, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified that Donald Trump won the race by a 10,704-vote margin (or a .22 percent of the total vote), awarding Trump the state’s 16 electoral votes.
Overview of the MI Recount Requests
- The Board’s certification starts a 48-hour window for the Stein campaign to seek a recount.
- The campaign has said it will file a petition with the Board of State Canvassers for a manual hand recount of all votes cast in the election in Michigan before the 2 pm deadline on November 30.
- On November 28, the Board of State Canvassers authorized the director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections, Chris Thomas, to conduct a manual recount pending any request by a candidate.
- Plans are currently underway by Thomas and county and municipal clerks throughout the state in anticipation of Dr. Stein’s request for a recount.
Cost of Michigan Recount
- The total cost of the recount in the three states combined will be approximately $7.3 million, given the unexpected fee increase in Wisconsin from $1.1 to $3.5 million. The money will cover required payments to states, lawyers, volunteer recruitment and other technical assistance.
- The filing fee for a recount in Michigan is $973,250.
- The Stein campaign is currently recruiting volunteers to observe the hand recount that is taking place in 19 sites where the votes were cast. Volunteers can sign up and get more information on http://www.Jill2016.com/recountMI.
Current MI Vote Total as of November 28 (Donald Trump leads by 10,704 votes)
Donald J. Trump (R) 2,279,543 (47.6%)
Hillary Clinton (D) 2,268,839 (47.3%)
Gary Johnson (L) 172,136 (3.6%)
Jill Stein (G) 51,463 (1.1%)