Michigan recount now in doubt; Pennsylvania sets hearing
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan's presidential recount appeared in doubt on Wednesday, two days after it started, after a state appeals court said the Green Party candidate's poor showing in the election disqualified her from seeking another look at the vote.
Meanwhile, the fate of Green Party candidate Jill Stein's request for a recount in Pennsylvania must wait at least until a federal court hearing on Friday, just four days before the Dec. 13 federal deadline for states to certify their election results.
President-elect Donald Trump narrowly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in both states and Wisconsin, which started its recount last week.
None of the recounts were expected to affect the outcome of the election. Stein, who received about 1 percent of the vote in all three states, said she requested them to verify the accuracy of the vote. She has suggested, without evidence, that the votes were susceptible to hacking.
Here's what's happening in each state and in Nevada, where a partial recount of the race was requested by independent presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente:
The recount is more than 70 percent complete in Wisconsin, and Clinton has gained just 82 votes on Trump, who won the state by more than 22,000 votes. The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported Wednesday that 34 of 72 counties had completed their work and that the others are on track to finish by next week's deadline. More than 2.1 million votes out of the nearly 3 million cast have been recounted.
A recount that started Monday might end after the state appeals court said Stein has no standing to have the votes recounted. The court said she finished fourth in the election and doesn't qualify as an "aggrieved" candidate under Michigan law.
The court ordered the state elections board to reject her recount petition. Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, said the decision means the recount "must stop." But Stein's attorney, Mark Brewer, insisted the recount isn't over.
Stein is appealing that decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.
The elections board met again Wednesday but said it will wait to decide whether to end the recount until it sees what U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith does. He had ordered Monday that an immediate statewide recount of roughly 4.8 million ballots should start. Several counties did, including the largest, Wayne County, where Detroit is located.
But Goldsmith's decision dealt with just the timing of the recount. Goldsmith heard arguments Wednesday over whether to lift his recount order. He has said he will issue a written decision.
Trump won Michigan by about 10,700 votes over Clinton.
U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia on Tuesday scheduled a hearing Friday on the request for a recount. The Republican Party and Trump warned that the case threatens Pennsylvania's ability to certify its election before the Dec. 13 federal deadline. Stein's team hasn't produced evidence of hacking, but calls Pennsylvania's election system "a national disgrace."
Also Tuesday, Pennsylvania election officials updated the state's vote count to show that Trump's lead over Clinton had shrunk to about 44,000 out of more than 6 million votes cast. That is still shy of Pennsylvania's 0.5 percent trigger for an automatic statewide recount. A state spokeswoman said 15 provisional ballots remained uncounted.
A partial recount is underway in Nevada at the request of De La Fuente, who finished last with a fraction of 1 percent of the vote. He paid about $14,000 for the recount to provide what he called a counterbalance to the recounts sought by Stein. Most of the 92 precincts being re-counted are in the Las Vegas area, with eight of the precincts in four other counties. If the sample shows a discrepancy of at least 1 percent for De La Fuente or Clinton, a full recount will be launched in all 17 Nevada counties. Clinton defeated Trump in Nevada by 27,202 votes, out of 1.1 million votes cast. Nevada Secretary of State spokeswoman Gail Anderson said the recount will be finished by the end of this week.
Associated Press writers Ed White in Detroit; Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.