A federal judge halted the recount of presidential ballots in Michigan Wednesday night, confirming an earlier ruling that the petitioner, Green Party nominee Jill Stein, had no standing to demand it given she received just 1.1 percent of the vote. Stein had filed for recounts in three states following reports that a group of computer scientists suggested there could have been manipulation of voting machines.
Hillary Clinton had narrowly lost all three states — Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — on Election Day, but her team did not choose to file for recounts. In order to change the ultimate outcome of the Electoral College, and thus the election, all three states would have had to flip from Trump to Clinton.
Stein instead stepped in to request a recount and heartened many Clinton supporters upset by Trump’s victory. With the help of some of these Democrats, Stein raised nearly $7 million for the effort, nearly double the $3.5 million she raised during the entire presidential campaign season.
But the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Stein’s low vote totals made her ineligible to request a recount since she had no chance of winning one and did not fit the state’s definition of an “aggrieved” party.
Stein’s efforts in Pennsylvania have also been stymied as she waits for a federal court hearing on Friday. The recount in Wisconsin, however, began last Thursday and so far there have been no signs of manipulation. All states are required to certify their results by Dec. 13.
Stein’s lawyers said they would challenge the ruling in Michigan’s Supreme Court. “With so many irregularities in Michigan — including more than 75,000 under-votes, many in urban areas, and widespread carelessness, and perhaps interference, with preserving ballots — there is a real possibility the rights of voters in Michigan may have been suppressed during this election,” they said in a statement.