Judge orders recount of Michigan vote in presidential poll

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Detroit, Dec 5 (IANS) A federal US judge in a late-night ruling ordered Michigan to begin its presidential election vote recount by Monday noon, making it likely to have the results ahead of December 13 deadline.

In his Sunday night ruling, Judge Mark Goldsmith rejected an effort by state officials to delay the hand-counting of about 4.8 million ballots, the Detroit News reported.

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein had argued that it is unconstitutional law that requires a break of at least two business days after the Board of Canvassers’ final action on a recount request.

Goldsmith found that Stein had “shown the likelihood of irreparable harm” if the count was delayed even by two days and rejected the state’s arguments about the cost to taxpayers.

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Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by 10,704 votes, or two-tenths of a percentage point, in Michigan.

Stein received about 1 per cent of the vote.

Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, the Trump campaign and others filed separate lawsuits asking courts to prevent the recount, arguing that Stein, as the fourth-place finisher, was not the “aggrieved”.

The Green Party also wanted recounts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Stein argued, without evidence, that irregularities in the votes in all three states suggest that there could have been tampering with the vote.

Perhaps through a well-coordinated, highly complex cyber-attack, she suggested.

Election officials in the three states, all narrowly won by Trump, expressed confidence in their results. Even if all three recounts happen, none were expected to give Clinton enough votes to emerge as the winner.

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