Asking for a recount of an election could get a whole lot more expensive under a bill passed by the state House of Representatives on Thursday. Currently, a candidate requesting a recount must pay $10 per precinct to get a recount underway. Under the bill passed Thursday on a 95-9 vote, that amount would increase to $25 per precinct. And for candidates who lost by more than 50 votes, it would cost them $125 per precinct if they asked for a recount. The bill was drafted long before the election mess in Detroit, where the votes have been counted multiple times by city, county and state officials.
After the state finally certified the election last month, losing mayoral candidate Tom Barrow, who finished fifth in the race more than 40,000 votes behind winner Mike Duggan, asked for a recount.
Under current law, it will cost Barrow $6,140 to recount Detroit’s 614 precincts. In a close race, that amount would increase to $15,350 and in Barrow’s case, because he finished in fifth place more than 40,000 votes behind front-runner Mike Duggan, the price tag would go up to $76,750.
“What happened in Detroit does underscore the need for this kind of legislation,” said state Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth, the sponsor of the bill. “It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and an abuse of the system for people who clearly lost an election to come back later and expect the taxpayers to do a frivolous recount.”