In a move to halt Green Party candidate Jill Stein from proceeding with a statewide presidential ballot recount, the Michigan Republican Party filed an emergency motion in the early hours on Tuesday.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the party filed with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in a motion to stay the order of federal judge Mark Goldsmith, who ordered the recount to begin Monday at noon and continue until ordered to stop by the same court.
The emergency motion asked for an “en banc” (entire bench) review by all of the 6th Circuit judges in Cincinnati. Normally, an appeal would be reviewed by a three-judge panel of the court.
The motion was filed asking if Stein is constitutionally entitled to a recount, with no “evidence that the election was affected… by fraud or other impropriety.”
The Michigan Republican Party announced it would be appealing after Goldsmith gave his ruling after a rare Sunday court hearing that lasted three hours. Goldsmith ruled that the normal two business day delay for court review before starting the recount would endanger Michigan citizens’ right to vote by making it impossible to complete the recount before the “safe harbor” federal deadline, and prevent any new voter tallies to reach the Electoral College in time for the final presidential vote on Dec 19.
According to The Detroit News, Trump won the state by only a little over 10,000 votes. Michigan counties Oakland and Ingham have already begun hand-counting the ballots. Oakland County elections director Joe Rozell told The Detroit News:
‘We’ve never had to do anything of this magnitude before …. This hasn’t happened in modern times.’
The recounts for Kalamazoo, Kent, Macomb, Ottawa, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties were scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.
According to the emergency request for a stay, the Republican Party argues that Stein has no grounds on which to request an expensive recount, that she waited until the last minute to file her request, and that the federal courts should have no say in state law. The state of Michigan requires a two business day delay after the approval of a recount request to allow for court review prior to proceeding.
Michigan Republican Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDonald told The Detroit News:
‘We do not believe the federal courts have jurisdiction over states being able to run their own election process.’
As reported in The Detroit News, the Michigan Republican Party claims that the recount will have “an enormous financial impact” and is causing a “logistical nightmare” for state employees.
Michigan Attorney General Bell Schuette, also a Republican, filed an additional motion seeking to appeal Goldsmith’s ruling. President-elect Donald Trump has also filed a motion to halt recount efforts in Michigan, and both cases will be considered on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in a Lansing court.
The recount, spearheaded by Stein’s campaign, also includes efforts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, all three key battleground states that polled heavily in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump was declared the final winner in all three states, but won by such narrow margins that many observers are requesting a recount.
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