Trump supporters, Michigan official try to halt vote recounts

AFP , Friday 2 Dec 2016

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a stop at U.S. Bank Arena on December 1, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio (Photo: AFP)

Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump filed lawsuits Friday to stop an election recount in Wisconsin, while Michigan's top law enforcement official went to court to prevent an impending recount there.

Both Midwestern states were crucial to Trump's election victory. He won both with slim margins, besting Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 27,000 votes in Wisconsin and 10,700 votes in Michigan.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has asked the two states, which reliably voted Democratic in previous presidential elections, to conduct recounts. She received one percent of the vote in both states.

Michigan state attorney general Bill Schuette filed a lawsuit Friday to stop a scheduled recount in his state, saying Stein received far too few votes to necessitate a recount.

"Michigan voters rejected Stein's candidacy by massive margins but her refusal to accept that state-verified result poses an expensive and risky threat to hard-working taxpayers and abuses the intent of Michigan law," Schuette said in a statement.

In Wisconsin, voter Ronald R. Johnson and two political action committees supporting Trump -- Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC -- asked a federal judge to halt the recount that began Thursday. In a court filing, they called the process a "sham."

"There is no prospect that the recount will change the outcome of the election with result to Stein. At best, this is nothing more than a fundraising stunt for her," the filing said.

But Stein was undeterred. She called the Michigan effort by Schuette "politically motivated," and her lead counsel Matthew Brinckerhoff said their push for a Wisconsin recount would continue.

"Citizens in Wisconsin and across the country have made it clear that they want a recount and deserve to see this process through to ensure integrity in the vote," Brinckerhoff said in a statement.

Stein has raised $6.8 million to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where her campaign is asking a court to compel a partial recount.

Stein has said the slim margin of victory for Republican Trump in those states made recounts necessary.

"Verifying the vote through this recount is the only way to confirm that every vote has been counted securely and accurately and is not compromised by machine or human error, or by tampering or hacking. The recount does not benefit one candidate over another," Stein said Thursday in a statement.

Donald Trump's campaign filed an objection with Michigan state officials on Thursday, which at minimum delayed the recount there. It was scheduled to begin Friday.

"On the basis of nothing more than speculation, Stein asks that Michigan residents endure an expensive, time-consuming recount," the campaign's filing said.

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