Election Law

In late-night ruling, federal judge orders hand recount in Michigan

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In a decision issued on Monday just after midnight, a federal judge has ordered a hand recount of presidential ballots in Michigan beginning at noon.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled after a three-hour hearing on Sunday, report the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press.

State law requires a two-day wait, but a Dec. 13 deadline to guarantee counting of Michigan electoral votes is looming. In light of the deadline, the two-day period likely violates voting rights, Goldsmith said.

Spokespersons for the state attorney general and secretary of state said the order was under review. Meanwhile, local clerks in the state were scrambling to find workers for the recount, the Detroit Free Press reports. “We’re just trying to get the logistics hammered out. Not many people replied to my text message at 12:30 this morning,” said Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein is seeking the recount. She also filed papers on the weekend seeking to intervene in a state lawsuit filed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuettte that asks a judge to block the recount.

Stein also plans to seek to intervene in a similar Pennsylvania case, according to her lawyer Mark Brewer. Stein also filed a federal court suit in Pennsylvania on Monday after a state judge ruled her campaign had to post a $1 million bond, according to Reuters and ABC News.

A recount in Wisconsin is continuing.

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