The state of Michigan will have its presidential election votes manually recounted beginning at noon Monday, one week after state officials certified President-elect Donald Trump as the winner of the state’s 16 electoral votes.
U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ordered the recount in a written opinion issued early Monday. He had held a three-hour hearing on the recount Sunday.
Goldsmith rejected a state law that called for a waiting period of two business days before beginning the recount.
“Defendants shall instruct all governmental units participating in the recount to assemble necessary staff to work sufficient hours to assure that the recount is completed in time to comply with the ‘safe harbor’ provision,” of federal election law, Goldsmith wrote.
He said that Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who sought the recount, has shown “a credible threat that the recount, if delayed, would not be completed” by Dec. 13, the “safe harbor” date established to ensure that states have their results completed before the electoral college assembles on Dec. 19.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette attempted to block the recount Sunday. He argued Stein has no right under the constitution to seek a recount and that she should shoulder the cost that he fears could top $5 million.
“No Michigan voters have been, or are being, disenfranchised if a recount does not occur,” Schuette said in his filing. “Michigan’s votes were counted and certified, and its electors submitted to federal authorities, all according to routine, constitutional procedures.”
Goldsmith rejected Schuette’s claims.
“With the perceived integrity of the presidential election as it was conducted in Michigan at stake, concerns with cost pale in comparison,” Goldsmith said.
Goldsmith ordered that the recount “must continue until further order of this court.”
Chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, Ronna Romney McDaniel, said in a release Monday that she it “outraged that Jill Stein is trying to use the courts to change the outcome of the Michigan election” after “all votes were counted and certified by the Board of Canvassers.”
“This recount is an incredible waste of Michigan taxpayers’ money,” she said, adding, “we will vigorously pursue any and all options available to us to overturn this ruling and to end this recount.”
Trump won the state by just over 10,000 votes. About 5 million votes were cast in Michigan.
Stein also filed for a recount in Wisconsin which began last week.