Green Party candidate Jill Stein on Wednesday filed a petition for a full hand recount of presidential votes in Michigan, the last state to officially certify its election results this week. The state on Monday certified that President-elect Donald Trump had officially won by slightly more than 10,000 votes, a 0.22% margin. Ms. Stein, who has also successfully called for a recount in Wisconsin and has filed a lawsuit seeking one in Pennsylvania, alleges that machines used to count the votes in these states could have been hacked or tampered with. Barring a court challenge by Mr. Trump, the recount in Michigan is expected to start Friday. At a press conference, Ms. Stein’s campaign said it had paid $970, 000 at the time that the petition was filed. Her recount efforts have raised over $6.6 million, and Ms. Stein has said her campaign will shoulder the cost of the process. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said in a statement Wednesday that there is “no evidence of hacking or fraud, or even a credible allegation of any tampering.” She added that Michigan taxpayers could be paying up $4 million, in addition to the $1 million that Ms. Stein will have to foot.
Fred Woodham, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, added that county clerks have been preparing since becoming aware a recount would be possible, but that the deadline of December 13 — a federally-mandated deadline for a recount, 35 days after election day — is “very challenging.”
J. Alex Halderman, director for the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society, is among those who believe the machines, including the optical scanner machines used in Michigan, could be hacked. Speaking at a press conference after Ms. Stein filed her petition in the state Wednesday, he said that counting paper ballots by hand is a “cyber defense” that will “increase the confidence in the outcome of this election.” Mr. Halderman, though, said that while he expects the recount will find anomalies, the changes will “probably not” affect the outcome of the election.
In Wisconsin, a recount will begin Thursday. The court denied that the recount there be done by hand, which Ms. Stein had pushed for, and county clerks will have discretion over what method they will use to count the ballots.