LANSING - Saying that Michigan should not grant "this lawless, insulting request," the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump filed an objection Thursday afternoon to a request to recount nearly 4.8 million votes cast for President in Michigan.
Michigan's "voters should not risk having the Electoral College door knocked off its hinges all because a 1% candidate is dissatisfied with the election’s outcome," the objection stated. "Given her tiny vote total, (Green Party presidential candidate Jill) Stein does not and could not possibly allege a good faith belief that she may have won the state of Michigan."
The objection will put a hold on any recount of votes until the state Board of Canvassers can rule on the objection at a meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday. Once that ruling is made, Chris Thomas, director of the state Department of Elections can't start the recount for two business days, which could mean that recount work scheduled for this weekend will not happen and a recount won't start until next week.
The recount had been scheduled to begin on Friday in Oakland and Ingham counties and continue throughout the weekend in the state's largest 19 counties. All the weekend work has been postponed until the objection is resolved. State elections officials said it hoped to finish a recount by Dec. 10, but the legal filing puts that schedule in jeopardy.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested the recount on Wednesday, saying she wanted to ensure that the votes were counted accurately and ultimately ensure the integrity of the election.
The state certified the election results on Monday, which showed that Republican Donald Trump won the state with a 10,704 vote margin over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Out of nearly 4.8 million votes cast for president, Stein finished fourth with 51,463 votes.
As prescribed by state law, Stein paid $125 per precinct -- or $973,250 -- for the recount. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has said the actual cost will be much higher and the counties conducting the recounts will have to pick up those costs.
But state Rep. Lisa Lyons, R-Alto, introduced a bill Thursday which would require people asking for recounts in statewide election races pay the entire recount bill. She worded the bill so it would start retroactively and force Stein to pay for the entire cost of the recount. A hearing has not been set yet on that bill.
Lawyers for Trump said the cost for a recount was prohibitive and that it couldn't possibly be done in time for the the electoral college, including Michigan's 16 members, to cast their votes for president on Dec. 19.
"To count that many votes by hand is not feasible," the objection read, which was filed with state Department of Elections. "Any attempt to finish the process in time will no doubt lead to errors."
The filing also said the recount request was not properly notarized, making it improper to move forward with the tally.
The State Board of Canvassers, which is made up of four appointees - two Republicans and two Democrats - will rule on the objection and if they split 2-2 or reject the objection outright, the recount goes forward. It would stop if the Board approved the objection. If it is rejected, the Trump campaign could try to appeal the matter in court.
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Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @michpoligal
Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Jou