Politics

Michigan May Force Stein To Foot Recount's Total Cost

| by Oren Peleg

President-elect Donald Trump clinched victory at the hands of three states: Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Yet, Trump's slim margin of victory in each state has caused backlash in each state.

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, has gone so far as to call for a recount among these states. On Nov. 30, she announced that she had raised enough money to foot the bill of a recount in Michigan -- a state that handed Trump victory with a margin of less than 11,000 votes.

According to Michigan law, Stein was required to pay $125 per precinct to formally request a recount. That total amounts to $790,000. The inclusion of absentee ballot recounts brought the charge up to $973,250, reports MLive.com.

Now, a Republican-sponsored bill in the state legislature proposes that Stein foot every cent of the recount’s cost.

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"This legislation would protect taxpayers from frivolous recounts," House Elections Committee Chair Lisa Lyons said on Dec. 6, after HB 6097 passed out of the committee. "Candidates should have the right to ask for a recount, but they should have the responsibility to pay for it, especially if the outcome is unlikely to change.”

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has stated the actual cost of the election could total over $2 million, while Eric Doster, attorney for the Michigan Republican Party, said the cost could reach $12 million.

But State Rep. Jeff Irwin, a Democrat on the committee, voiced support of the recount.

"Sometimes when we do these recounts, we find irregularities that are worth looking into," he said. "There has been a lot of concern expressed in this committee about voter fraud. Most of the concern on our side of the aisle is about fraud by officials. This gives us a chance to see if somebody is putting their thumb on the scale."

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According to the Detroit Free Press, HB 6097 would work retroactively, which Irwin voiced further concern over.

“We should not change the rules in the middle of the game and retroactively change the rules after the game is already over,” he continued. “That hurts election process all across the board.”

Sources: MLive.com (2), Detroit Free Press, Michigan Secretary of State / Photo credit: Jill Stein/Instagram

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