Taxpayers could be on the hook for close to $1 million — or more — for a proposed recount of Michigan’s presidential election results, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said Tuesday. Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who took just more than 1% of the presidential vote in the Nov. 8 election, has announced she will request a statewide recount by Wednesday’s deadline as a check against possible counting mistakes or fraud. Stein is being charged $125 per precinct, a cost originally estimated at $787,500 in total. But Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas said Monday the actual cost charged to Stein could be around $900,000, based on the final size of the recount and the addition of absentee ballot precincts. Any cost beyond the $125 per precinct would be borne by taxpayers at the county level, he said. Stein’s campaign said in a Tuesday news release it expects to pay a Michigan filing fee of $973,250.
But Tuesday, appearing on the “Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760), Johnson estimated the cost will be double what Thomas estimated. “I don’t think that $900,000 will cover half,” Johnson said, though there is no way of knowing for sure, in advance. “We’ll have to see exactly what the cost is.”
If the cost was $1.8 million and Stein paid $973,250, taxpayers would be on the hook for close to $827,000, unless Stein is charged more than currently planned. And Johnson suggested the cost could top $1.8 million.