Wednesday, December 07, 2016 by Don Wrightman
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has said that a proposed recount of Michigan’s presidential election results could cost taxpayers close to $1 million. The Green Party candidate Jill Stein only received slightly more than 1 percent of the presidential vote in the election. She has announced that she will request a statewide recount to check against possible counting mistakes and fraud.
Stein will be charged $125 per precinct, which bore a cost originally estimated to be just under $800 thousand. Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas said that the actual cost charged to Stein could be over $100 thousand more than the original estimate, based on the final size of the recount and the addition of absentee ballot precincts. Taxpayers would be responsible for any costs that exceed $125 per precinct at the county level.
Stein’s campaign has announced in a news release that it does expect to pay almost $1 million for a Michigan filing fee. Ruth Johnson has however estimated that the cost will actually double from Thomas’s estimate. Johnson does not expect $900 thousand to cover half of the cost, although he stated that there’s no way of knowing in advance what the final cost will be. If the total cost of the recount reaches $1.8 million, Stein will pay $973,250. This leaves taxpayers responsible for the other $827 thousand.
The Michigan Republican Party supports Donald Trump’s plan to contest the recount request. The Board of State canvassers have certified that Trump defeated Clinton in Michigan by 10,704 votes, giving him Michigan’s 16 electoral votes. Michigan Republican Party spokeswoman Sara Anderson insists that there is no good reason for a costly recount request.
If the recount happens it will occur over the weekend. What’s not included in the current cost estimates are overtime costs, travel costs, and security costs. Midland County Clerk Ann Manary said that a recount will cost her county about $10 thousand, but the state will only reimburse about $5,600 of that amount.
Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers will review an objection to the recount which has been filed by Donald Trump’s campaign. “Voters should not risk having the Electoral College door knocked off its hinges all because a 1 percent candidate is dissatisfied with the election’s outcome,” the objection states. “Given her tiny vote total, Stein does not and could not possibly allege a good faith belief that she may have won the state of Michigan.” Hopefully the recount doesn’t happen, saving tax payers the senseless burden.