Michigan lawmakers are considering legislation to discourage futile recount efforts by candidates who lose their election bids by an incontestable amount, forcing the candidate to foot the bill for the recount.
Introduced by Republican state Sen. Lisa Lyons (R-Alto) last week, the bill, H.B. 6097, would make a candidate who lost by more than 5 percent pay for the full cost of the recount for each precinct referred to (there are 6,300 precincts in Michigan) in his or her petition. The bill passed on a 5-3 vote in the House Elections committee Tuesday, and now moves to the state’s full House of Representatives for consideration.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein filed for a hand recount of all 4.8 million votes in Michigan (among others) in the Nov. 8 presidential election, citing unreliable voting machines and supposed irregularities.
According to the Detroit Free Press, current state law requires candidates who lose their race by greater than 0.5 percent to pay $125 per precinct for the recount, while the state pays for the rest. For Jill Stein, that meant a $973,750 check written to the state of Michigan. But the Great Lakes State is by no means coming out in the black on the deal, as the cost is expected to be as much as $12 million.
That leaves Michigan taxpayers on the hook for Stein’s political sideshow — a recount many feel she is not entitled to, given the margin of her defeat. Stein won a meager 1.1 percent of the vote in Michigan, finishing in fourth place — more than 2.2 million behind Donald Trump.
To be fair, if this passes, I don’t know that they’ll be able to send her a bill. But it should discourage this kind of thing in the future. We all know that she’s doing this for two reasons: first, the money, and second Hillary. Nothing she ever says is going to convince most of the country otherwise. But she got less than 1% of the vote, and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states (she was a write in candidate here in NC).
Of course you should be allowed to request a recount… within reason. Hillary should have the option to request a recount. She was close enough in many states, she was a viable candidate, and a recount could benefit her. Stein? Not so much. Her requests for recounts should have been thrown out. But Hillary made such a big stink about Trump accepting the outcome of the election that she couldn’t request recounts and come out looking clean. Here comes Stein. And it shouldn’t have been allowed.