This could be a stressful week for Chris Thomas, Michigan’s director of elections. Thomas would be the guy in charge of recounting, by hand, Michigan’s 4.8 million ballots. That would be triggered if Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein makes the request. “The thing that keeps me up at night is just being able to finish on time,” Thomas says. “It’s probably going to be a ten day recount, to do an entire state, and that’s going to be tough. And it’s going to really challenge the elections officials across this state.” Those officials are already very confused. Different city clerks have completely different ideas about how this process would work. One clerk says the recount is done in teams of three, with one person reading off the ballot and the two other people tallying each one on separate spreadsheets.
But another clerk said, no, first you divide all the ballots up by candidate, then you tally up each candidate’s pile (that’s the best way, Thomas says.)
Then one clerk said all of the recount workers they hire must already be certified poll workers, while another said they don’t have to be certified (Thomas’ answer: anybody can work on this recount, but they’ll have to go through some brief training first.)
Good news: the state is offering webinars for the clerks, so they can iron this stuff out.