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Judge Orders Michigan Recount To Begin Immediately

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A federal judge ordered a recount of the presidential votes in Michigan and said the state must "assemble necessary staff to work sufficient hours" to complete the recount by the federal government's Dec. 13 deadline, reported the Detroit Free Press.

"With the perceived integrity of the presidential election as it was conducted in Michigan at stake, concerns with cost pale in comparison," said U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama in 2010.

The recount effort has been pushed by Green Party leader Jill Stein, who claimed that there might have been irregularities in the 2016 presidential election, such as hacking of electronic voting machines.

Stein has raised more than $4.5 million through online fundraisers to mount recount challenges in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania -- all states that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was widely expected to win but lost to President-elect Donald Trump by less than 1 percent of the vote in each state.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, said in a statement that she is "outraged that Jill Stein is trying to use the courts to change the outcome of the Michigan election" after "all votes were counted and certified by the Board of Canvassers,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

McDaniel further said that "this recount is an incredible waste of Michigan taxpayers' money," and that "we will vigorously pursue any and all options available to us to overturn this ruling and to end this recount."

A recount in all three states is not expected to change the results, according to Joshua A. Douglas, a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law who specializes in election law and voting rights.

Douglas wrote his thoughts for CNN:

There is absolutely no evidence of widespread voter fraud, much less that there were millions of illegal voters.

There is essentially zero chance that the recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania will change Trump's lead, which number in the thousands, not hundreds, in all three states. Trump is winning Wisconsin by a little more than 27,000 votes; his lead in Michigan sits at around 11,000; and his lead in Pennsylvania is insurmountable at over 68,000.

Sources: Detroit Free Press, CNN / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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