Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dr. Jill Stein blasts Trump campaign’s effort to delay Michigan recount at taxpayers’ expense

Photo courtesy GP.org
In response to this afternoon’s filing of an objection to recount nearly 4.8 million votes cast for President in Michigan, Dr. Jill Stein’s campaign, which filed the historic request yesterday, blasted the objection as a “shameful” and “outrageous” attempt to undermine democracy. The objection from Donald Trump’s campaign will add significant costs and confusion to a recount that is already being obstructed by some in order to keep voters from verifying the accuracy, security and integrity of the election.

“The recount in Michigan, which has been driven by an outpouring of grassroots support in the state – will go forward,” said Dr. Jill Stein, the 2016 Green Party candidate for President. “The Michigan Board of State Canvassers and Director of Elections has been a model of professionalism in moving this recount forward in an efficient, transparent manner. Yet the Trump campaign’s cynical efforts to delay the recount and create unnecessary costs for taxpayers are shameful and outrageous.”

The objection comes just one day after state officials said that they would begin a full, statewide, hand recount of all votes cast in Michigan beginning on Friday morning, December 2. Due to the objection, however, the Board of State Canvassers, an appointed body that has already pledged its support of the recount, will have to halt counting until it holds a hearing on Trump’s objection and issues a ruling within five days. If the Board resolves the objections, the recount would restart after the second business day – delaying the process up to as many as seven days and pushing increasing costs onto taxpayers.

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When filing its petition Wednesday, the Stein campaign paid in full the filing fee of $973,250, as required under Michigan law. While the actual costs of the recount are unknown – this is Michigan’s first presidential recount in more than a half-century – some have speculated that total costs could rise above the $1 million mark. The Stein campaign is working closely with the Board of State Canvassers, the only state entity with accurate knowledge of the estimated total costs, to discuss ways in which it might contribute to expenses above and beyond the campaign’s legal financial obligation after the recall is completed.


“The true costs of this recount are the result of elected leaders who have refused to invest in a 21st Century voting system and powerful politicians who are putting up obstacles in an effort to prolong, undermine and stop this recount,” said Dr. Stein. “But as the overwhelming grassroots demand shows – close to $7 million raised by nearly 150,000 people – Americans are hungry for a voting system they can trust, and they won’t let these obstacles get in their way.”

Background About Michigan’s Election

On Monday, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified that Donald Trump won the state’s race by 10,704 votes, or a margin of just 0.22 percent of the total vote. But computer scientists and election experts have raised serious concerns about election results, including the vulnerability of voting machines that can be breached without detection and have a tendency to misread markings made by voters. In the recent Michigan election, for example, there were 75,335 under-count tallies – votes that machines did not record as selecting anyone for president – nearly double the amount recorded in 2012.

“America's voting machines and optical scanners are prone to errors and susceptible to outside manipulation,” said J. Alex Halderman, one of the nation’s leading cyber security experts and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Michigan. “Paper ballots, like those used in Michigan's elections, are the best defense we have against cyberattacks, but that defense is only effective if we actually look at the paper trail after the election.  That's precisely why we need this recount – to examine the physical evidence, to look under the hood. A recount is the best way, and indeed the only way in 2016, to ensure public confidence that the results are accurate, authentic, and untainted by outside interference.”

- Courtesy GP.org