Trump Camp Sues to Block Battleground State Vote Recounts

The president-elect is trying to block recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Published Dec. 2, 2016

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President-elect Donald Trump and the Michigan state attorney general are trying to block a vote recount in that state from going forward. The move comes after Green Party candidate Jill Stein petitioned for recounts in three battleground states: Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. According to pre-recount tallies, Trump won the popular vote counts in all three states.

Stein finished fourth in Michigan, bringing in just 1 percent of the vote. Trump's filing questioned her motives and validity of her petition in that state:

Nonetheless, Stein insists that her accusation alone compels a statewide recount. That herculean effort is necessary, she says, because Michigan must "ensure the accuracy and integrity of the election." In Stein's mind, apparently, election results are deemed unreliable, and election officials are deemed corrupt or incompetent, until proven otherwise. Nonsense. Simply put, Michigan should not grant this lawless, insulting request, and its voters should not risk having the Electoral College door knocked off its hinges, all because a 1-percent candidate is dissatisfied with the election's outcome.

Trump's camp was joined by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who on 2 December 2016 released a statement on his objection to the pending recount:

The Green Party has sought recounts of the results from the Nov. 8 election in the three states, which bucked their history of supporting Democrats and voted narrowly for Trump, a Republican. The party has said its campaign is focused on ensuring the integrity of the U.S. voting system.

Even if the recounts take, they are extremely unlikely to change the overall result of the election, in which Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Stein, who scored only about 1 percent of the vote, has said the recount campaign is not targeted at Trump or Clinton.

Despite a similar lawsuit attempting to block the Wisconsin recount, state workers are already in the process of recounting votes there.

As of 2 December 2016, Stein has raised $6.8 million to pay fees for the recounts. Democrat Hillary Clinton's lead with the popular vote total count has so far surpassed Trump's by 2.5 million. However, Trump surpassed the necessary 270 electoral college votes by securing key states, thus giving him the 8 November 2016 election victory.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.