Michigan presidential vote recount has begun

- Oakland and Ingham counties are starting today, others are starting Tuesday as Michigan has begun its presidential election recount.

The recount began Monday after a federal judge ordered elections officials to get the process moving to meet a Dec. 13 deadline. Other counties are expected to follow this week.

The recount comes at the request of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who also requested recounts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Republican Donald Trump narrowly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in all three states on his way to victory. Stein won about 1 percent of the vote in each of the three states.

Wisconsin's recount started last week. Green Party lawyers filed a lawsuit in a Philadelphia federal court earlier Monday asking a judge to order a recount in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Michigan's appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday on a Trump request to halt the recount.

"Pick up the ballot, first look at race - president of the United States," said one of the recount site coordinators.

About 75 teams of two ballot counters were joined by election officials, lawyers, observers, challengers and any members of the public who want to watch.

"We need to avoid chaos during this process," the recount site coordinator said.

A process that hasn't happened in Michigan since 1952 - a candidate requesting a statewide recount - requested by the Green Party's  Dr. Jill Stein - ordered by federal judge Mark Goldsmith just after midnight.

More than 500 precincts in Oakland County plus absentee ballots - 678,000 ballots cast - are all being recounted by hand.

In the recounts that we've done before, there have been some small changes in the numbers but the outcome has always been the same.

And critics say with Jill Stein only receiving 51,000 votes in Michigan - this recount of 4.8 million votes statewide is a waste of time.

"We're essentially doing the entire election over again," said John Pirich, attorney for President-elect Donald Trump. "For a candidate that had 50,000 votes."

And it's unclear what it will cost. Taxpayers could be paying for the recount.

"Jill Stein has paid close to a million dollars to move forward with the recount," said Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for the Secretary of State. "We are estimating that a stateside recount in Michigan could cost around $5 million."

But volunteers who signed up to observe the recount -say the process are important.

"I've heard so much about voter fraud," said Calvin Haylow, an observer. "I'm retired. I decided to come and check it out because if there isn't voter fraud I want them to stop talking about it.

"I'm a citizen who voted and wants to make sure that everybody's vote counts."
 

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