Clerk: Costs are 'already rolling' days before Michigan recount begins

Starting Sunday morning, it's possible Ottawa County will begin recounting ballots cast during the president election.

WEST OLIVE, MICH. - Recount efforts in Michigan's 83 counties are expected to begin as soon as Friday.

Ottawa County already has set the date for the start of its vote re-tallying. It's also seeing the costs mount, days before workers even start to handle the ballots. The recount is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in the main conference room of the Ottawa County administration building.

"We're prepared for a couple hundred individuals or more in that room," says Justin Roebuck, the Ottawa County clerk. "Those costs are already rolling even though we're not officially underway with the recount process."

He says that's from hours spent preparing. 

"I would say over a thousand bucks,"  Roebuck said.

Roebuck says that amount will continue to grow with dozens of paid election workers involved in the recount.

"We're looking at a total of 15 to 20 teams of two, along with some supervisory staff obviously," Roebuck said. "We estimate that just in our per diem and food costs, will probably be at $2,500 dollars per day."

Related: Michigan presidential recount could cost taxpayers nearly $1M

Roebuck says there will also be a sheriff's deputy guarding the ballots through the night.

Each political party is allowed two observers or challengers for each team, according to the county clerk.

"We technically have seven political party candidates on the ballot for president," Roebuck said. "A recount is a public process, it is open to the public, open to the media."

Roebuck says the Stein campaign will cover up to $15,000 of the cost.

"Those incidental costs that we are incurring will likely exceed the amount we will receive from the Stein campaign," Roebuck said.

It's a process that he estimates could take four or five days.

The Ottawa County Clerk tells us the schedule for the recount will likely be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Roebuck says members of the state bureau of elections will be on site periodically. Their limited personnel will be spread across Michigan's 83 counties with the 4.5 million ballots to be counted.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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