Election Recount Update: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan
A judge in Wisconsin has ordered that the statewide recount can go on—a week after it started, reports have indicated.
It doesn’t really matter in the long-run, however—82 percent of ballots have been counted in the state, with Hillary Clinton gaining 61 votes on Donald Trump. The president-elect won the state by about 22,000 votes. The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported that “47 of 72 counties have now completed the recount,” and that eight in ten ballots in the state have been counted. It showed that Trump gained 495 votes and Clinton gained 556 votes.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein requested the recount, saying election machines may have been compromised, without providing evidence. But two pro-Trump groups, the Great America PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC, filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month to stop the process.
On Friday, Judge James Peterson refused to grant their request. He noted that the recount is almost over and there’s almost no chance the election results will be changed, WCVB-TV reported.
According to WCVB-TV, the judge called the Republican PACs’ “lawsuit dead on arrival and said he would decide whether to dismiss the lawsuit outright within the next few days.”
The federal deadline for the recount is Dec. 13.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania will hold a hearing Friday on whether that recount can begin.
Election officials in the state have called Stein’s request a “fishing expedition,” asking a federal judge on Thursday to throw it out. The state attorney general’s office, who is representing Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes, slammed the recount effort, NBC Philadelphia reported.
Stein’s team had described Pennsylvania’s election system as a “national disgrace.”
Trump leads Clinton in Pennsylvania by 44,000, well over the 0.5 percentage points need to carry out an automatic recount in the state.
Stein’s recount request in Michigan was shot down this week by a judge after some deliberation.
Meanwhile, two Michigan Supreme Court members who made Trump’s list of possible U.S. Supreme Court nominees on Friday removed themselves from consideration of an appeal by Stein to restart the recount there, The Associated Press reported.
The removals by Chief Justice Robert Young and Justice Joan Larsen came two days after a federal judge halted the recount in Michigan that began Monday. The federal judge tied his decision to a state court ruling that found Stein had no legal standing.
Stein then appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court. It still has only a remote chance of success before the high court. Three of the five remaining justices were GOP-nominated in their elections. Those five members haven’t yet decided whether to take the case.
Trump won that state by about 10,000 votes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.