LANSING, Mich. – The same federal judge that issued the order to begin the Michigan recount has reversed his decision, ending the recount that started Monday.
The decision to pull the plug on the state's first recount in nearly a half-century came Tuesday evening. Judge Mark Goldsmith said that the order was reversed because the plaintiffs - the Jill Stein campaign - didn't present any evidence of fraud or mistake from election night.
The Michigan Secretary of State said late Tuesday night that county clerks have been notified that no recounts shall proceed and that the Thursday Board of State Canvassers meeting had been canceled.
Judge Goldsmith ordered the immediate start of the recount Monday, followed closely by a State Court of Appeals decision Tuesday that ruled Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein did not have a substantial amount of votes to file the petition for a second look.
“A recount is supposed to make sure that the ballots were counted properly – that the winner is still the winner and the loser is still the loser,” said Michigan GOP Spokeswoman Sarah Anderson. “When you lost by 2.2 million votes in a state that had nearly 5 million votes, you have no recourse to become the winner.”
The State Board of Canvassers voted 3-1 to suspend the recount Tuesday afternoon.
“Hundreds of people have asked for a recount based on only an allegation that they were aggrieved,” said Steins lawyer Mark Brewer. “And the court of appeals in Michigan yesterday dramatically changed the law in an apparent attempt to disqualify my candidate from getting a recount.”
“We’re not arguing that the system is rigged,” Brewer continued, “but we do think it’s healthy for the system to be checked so that citizens either become aware of problems, or if there are no problems they’re reassured that when they vote, their vote will count.”
Also at hand is the issue of paying. Stein is only required to pay $125 per precinct out of her own pocket. However, GOP leaders have suggested the actual cost of the recount could run upwards of $12 million, money that would come out of the pockets of Michigan taxpayers.
“You’re talking about a multiple day process where you have to hire people to count these ballots by hand, you have to hire secure transport to move the ballots…food, tables, all of the rent that comes along with that,” said Anderson.
Now that the order has been reversed, Stein’s camp could appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court for another ruling, as well as the Federal Court of Appeals.