Political candidates who lose big wouldn’t be able to seek a recount under legislation nearing the Michigan governor’s desk. The Republican-led Senate voted 27-8 Wednesday for legislation upping the standards for election recounts to require that aggrieved candidates prove they have a reasonable chance of victory. The House also voted 93-16 to pass legislation to double losing candidates’ fees to recount votes if they lost by more than 5 percentage points. Both bills will soon go to Gov. Rick Snyder. Currently, candidates must allege that they believe they are aggrieved due to fraud or mistake to petition for a recount and are required to pay the state $125 per precinct.
Republican Rep. Jim Lilly, sponsor of the bill that passed the Senate, said his legislation was borne of the 2016 election’s drawn-out aftermath in Michigan, where Green Party candidate Jill Stein triggered a recount after Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes.
“The last election cycle just brought to light something with our election law in Michigan that could be exploited,” said Lilly. “I didn’t want to see somebody taking advantage of that again for basically political gain.”
Stein’s efforts ultimately escalated into a legal tangle with a state appeals court that terminated the recount upon ruling that her 1-percent share of the vote does not qualify her as “aggrieved.” Lilly’s bill would codify the judge order on Stein’s recount, which Lilly described as “clearly frivolous.”
Full Article: Michigan Legislature: No more election recounts like 2016’s.