Why Is Donald Trump So Afraid of a Recount in Michigan?

He Won the State by Only One-fifth of 1% — Not Yuge

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Of 4.8 million ballots cast in the state of Michigan on November 8, President-elect Donald Trump won by a mere 10,704 votes. Do the math, and that comes out to just over one-fifth of 1 percent.

In such circumstances, a recount seems reasonable. But a recount that was to have started Friday morning is now on hold after Trump’s campaign filed a formal objection to the process Thursday. The State Board of Canvassers will consider the request at a Friday morning meeting in Lansing.

But hundreds of workers throughout the state, are ready and waiting to start counting. In Lansing, the state capital, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum sounded as eager as a race car driver revving her engine at the starting line. “I am in limbo and waiting for a green light,” she told WhoWhatWhy. She is planning to hire 50 to 70 people to hand-count 130,000 ballots in her county alone.

The objection from the Trump campaign can only add to the expense of the recount effort — though Jill Stein and the Green Party have raised millions to foot the bill. Trump’s team argues that the massive undertaking will not alter the result already certified by the State Board of Canvassers.

“Indeed, on the basis of nothing more than speculation, Stein asks that Michigan residents endure an expensive, time-consuming recount, and the scrutiny and hardship that come with it,” Trump’s petition reads, in part.

Messages left for Trump’s campaign director for the state of Michigan Scott Hagerstrom and communications director Tim Lineberger were not immediately returned.

The Stein campaign filed the recount request Wednesday, citing concerns over voting equipment with technology more than 10 years old. This, the Stein people say, leaves the machines open to computer hacking.

Stein received 1.07% of Michigan votes, or slightly more than 51,000 statewide.

“After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable,” Stein wrote in a statement on her website. “We deserve elections we can trust.”

A message left for a Stein campaign spokesperson was not immediately returned.

Workers are braced for a mind-numbing task, stretching from morning to night each day, right up until the December 13 deadline. Completing the task by that date will be that much harder now, since no matter how the State Board of Canvassers rules Friday, work scheduled for this weekend has already been canceled..

Byrum, the Ingham County clerk, said Thursday she had been ready to begin the recount, calling the effort “quite an undertaking.” Workers would be paid $125 for every 11-hour shift they work – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. – plus lunch and dinner. With the meals ordered in, the crew will remain on site the whole time.

The task will be performed by 25 two-member teams, Byrum said. Though there is no state requirement, Byrum said each team will have one Democrat and one Republican, which she thought was “prudent.” Tables, chairs and equipment have all been rented, and the space had already been reserved at the county fairgrounds.

While the Stein campaign has already paid close to $1 million for the recount, estimates put the total cost of re-tallying Michigan’s 83 counties at somewhere north of $4 million.

“It is unusual that a candidate who received just 1 percent of the vote is seeking a recount, especially when there is no evidence of hacking or fraud, or even a credible allegation of any tampering,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said in a statement.

Unusual, but not against the rules. Stein attorney Mark Brewer told the Detroit Free Press that the law is clear, and that regardless of where a candidate finishes, he or she is free to request a recount.

“Just because Stein finished fourth, that’s irrelevant. I don’t think any of these objections have merit. It’s a stalling tactic,” Brewer told the Free Press.

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6 responses to “Why Is Donald Trump So Afraid of a Recount in Michigan?”

  1. Marie K. says:

    This request is more of a insult to Michigan residents because of the “cost”! I feel it’s been said and residents have spoken. Let her pay for this!

    Chuck…well said:))

  2. Chuck says:

    Simple answer on why Trump is “afraid” of a hand recount: IT WILL NEVER BE DONE IN TIME, then all of MI’s electoral votes will be put in jeopardy. Further, Stein is not an aggrieved/injured party, as she has absolutely NO chance of winning.

  3. Celesta says:

    I gather like those of us who voted for him that he doesn’t trust them not to cheat and rig the recount.

  4. Jaloney Caldwell says:

    Trump is fighting the recount . Makes it look really bad, like a rigged election for Trump. How hard would it be for a billionaire to pay people to insert a flash drive of software into a PC? Not hard at all.

  5. Loosegoods says:

    Although I voted for Jill Stein in 2012, I believe that she, like Sanders turning AGAINST his supporters, has forever lost any support that she might have ever counted on from me. Stein as first woman President?? Uh, I think my support will henceforth go to Judge Jeannie Pirro.

  6. ArmedPatriot says:

    Fear…thats funny.