Early Results from Wisconsin Recount Increase Donald Trump’s Margin of Victory
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s presidential recount expanded to several new counties on Tuesday, including its largest one that includes Detroit. Meanwhile, the fate of a statewide recount push in Pennsylvania must wait at least until Friday, when a federal judge has scheduled a hearing on it.
President-elect Donald Trump narrowly defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in both states and Wisconsin, which started its recount last week. The recounts requested by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein were not expected to change enough votes to overturn the result of the election.
Stein, who received about 1 percent of the vote in all three states, says her intent is to verify the accuracy of the vote. She has suggested, with no evidence, that votes cast were susceptible to computer hacking.
Here’s what’s happening in each state and in Nevada, where a partial recount of the race was requested by independent presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente:
Trump had widened his victory margin over Clinton in Wisconsin by 146 votes, with 23 of the state’s 72 counties having finished their recounts as of Tuesday. In those counties, Trump gained 105 votes and Clinton dropped 41 votes.
Trump defeated Clinton in Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes.
A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday in a lawsuit filed last week by a Trump voter and two super PACs seeking to stop the recount.
A federal judge in Detroit ordered a statewide hand recount of roughly 4.8 million ballots that started in two of the state’s 83 counties on Monday. Six more started recounting Tuesday, including the largest, Wayne. Republicans appealed that ruling Monday.
A spokesman for Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said it’s possible not all votes will be recounted in Wayne because of improper seals on ballot boxes and other issues. In such cases, the original vote would stand. Clinton won 67 percent of Wayne County’s vote.
Trump won the state by about 10,700 votes, or two-tenths of a percentage point, over Clinton.
Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Trump campaign and super PACs have filed separate lawsuits asking state courts to prevent the recount, arguing that Stein, as the fourth-place finisher, is not “aggrieved” because she has no chance of winning in a recount. A hearing is scheduled Tuesday on those actions.
Also Tuesday, a Republican-controlled committee approved legislation that would require candidates who lose by more than 5 percentage points to pay 100 percent of the estimated recount cost. Those candidates now pay $125 per precinct, which is Stein’s case is nearly $1 million. Johnson has said the recount may cost $5 million. The bill would retroactively apply to Stein, though Democrats questioned the constitutionality of changing the rules “in the middle of the game.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia on Tuesday scheduled a hearing Friday on the request for a recount. The Republican Party and Trump warned that the case threatens Pennsylvania’s ability to certify its election before the Dec. 13 federal deadline. Stein’s team hasn’t produced evidence of hacking, but calls Pennsylvania’s election system “a national disgrace.”
The latest count by state election officials showed Trump’s lead at 47,750 over Clinton, out of 6 million votes cast, as more counties finished counting overseas ballots and settled provisional ballot challenges. That is still shy of Pennsylvania’s 0.5 percent trigger for an automatic statewide recount. Final counts are outstanding in some counties, but there are not enough uncounted votes to change the outcome, officials say.
A partial recount is underway in Nevada at the request of De La Fuente, who finished last with a fraction of 1 percent of the vote. He paid about $14,000 for the recount to provide what he called a counterbalance to the recounts sought by Stein. Most of the 92 precincts being re-counted are in the Las Vegas area, with eight of the precincts in four other counties. If the sample shows a discrepancy of at least 1 percent for De La Fuente or Clinton, a full recount will be launched in all 17 Nevada counties. Clinton defeated Trump in Nevada by 27,202 votes, out of 1.1 million votes cast. Nevada Secretary of State spokeswoman Gail Anderson said the recount will be finished by the end of this week.