DETROIT – Michigan’s presidential recount was halted Wednesday after three days, assuring Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the state, when a federal judge said he’ll abide by a court ruling that found the Green Party candidate Jill Stein couldn’t seek another look at the vote.
Meanwhile, the fate of Stein’s request for a recount in Pennsylvania must wait at least until a federal court hearing on Friday, just four days before the Dec. 13 federal deadline for states to certify their election results.
Trump narrowly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in both states and Wisconsin, which started its recount last week.
None of the recounts were expected to affect the outcome of the election. Stein, who received about 1 percent of the vote in all three states, said she requested them to verify the accuracy of the vote. She has suggested, without evidence, that the votes were susceptible to hacking.
Here’s what’s happening in each state and in Nevada, where a partial recount of the race was requested by independent presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente:
The recount is more than 70 percent complete in Wisconsin, and Clinton has gained just 82 votes on Trump, who won the state by more than 22,000 votes. The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported Wednesday that 34 of 72 counties had completed their work and that the others are on track to finish by next week’s deadline. More than 2.1 million votes out of the nearly 3 million cast have been recounted.
A recount that started Monday ended Wednesday night. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith set aside his earlier order that got the recount moving, acting after the state appeals court said Stein doesn’t qualify as an “aggrieved” candidate under Michigan law.
“This is a victory for the taxpayers and voters of Michigan,” said Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairman of the state Republican Party.
The state elections board said the recount would stop after Goldsmith’s decision. Trump won Michigan by about 10,700 votes over Clinton. More than 20 counties so far were recounting ballots, and more were poised to start Thursday. Roughly 4.8 million ballots were cast.
Goldsmith said Stein raised serious issues about the integrity of Michigan’s election system. But he said she offered “speculative claims” and “not actual injury.”
U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia on Tuesday scheduled a hearing Friday on the request for a recount. The Republican Party and Trump warned that the case threatens Pennsylvania’s ability to certify its election before the Dec. 13 federal deadline. Stein’s team hasn’t produced evidence of hacking, but calls Pennsylvania’s election system “a national disgrace.”
Also Tuesday, Pennsylvania election officials updated the state’s vote count to show that Trump’s lead over Clinton had shrunk to about 44,000 out of more than 6 million votes cast. That is still shy of Pennsylvania’s 0.5 percent trigger for an automatic statewide recount. A state spokeswoman said 15 provisional ballots remained uncounted.
A partial recount is underway in Nevada at the request of De La Fuente, who finished last with a fraction of 1 percent of the vote. He paid about $14,000 for the recount to provide what he called a counterbalance to the recounts sought by Stein. Most of the 92 precincts being re-counted are in the Las Vegas area, with eight of the precincts in four other counties. If the sample shows a discrepancy of at least 1 percent for De La Fuente or Clinton, a full recount will be launched in all 17 Nevada counties. Clinton defeated Trump in Nevada by 27,202 votes, out of 1.1 million votes cast. Nevada Secretary of State spokeswoman Gail Anderson said the recount will be finished by the end of this week.
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