Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers deadlocked along party lines Friday over Donald Trump’s objection to Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s recount effort, green lighting the vote audit slated to start next week.
Trump filed his objection Thursday, calling Stein’s lawful filing a “lawless, insulting request.” Trump said Stein was “disenfranchising Michigan citizens” by making “residents endure an expensive, time-consuming recount, and the scrutiny and hardship that comes with it.”
The Board of State Canvassers’ non-decision means the recount will go ahead, though a lawsuit filed Friday by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuett threatens the effort. The Detroit Free Press reports the Trump campaign similarly filed an injunction late Friday against the board.
With the decision split among party lines, Democrat Jule Matuzak told the board, “If someone alleges impropriety and pays the fee, they get a recount.”
Republican board member Collen Pero disagreed, insisting the recount “would throw our entire election system into chaos.”
Trump himself sowed doubts about the election throughout his campaign, even suggesting he would not accept the results. As rival Hillary Clinton’s vote total continued to mount against Trump, the president-elect even posited—without evidence—that he would have won the popular vote were it not for the “millions of people who voted illegally.”
Despite his previous concerns, the Trump campaign’s formal objection knocks the Green Party leader, charging, “in Stein’s mind, apparently, election results are deemed unreliable, and election officials are deemed corrupt or incompetent, until proven otherwise.”
“I and the undersigned members of my slate of electors are aggrieved on account of fraud or mistake in the canvass of the votes by the inspectors of election, and/or the returns made by the inspectors and/or by the Board of County Canvassers and/or by the Board of State Canvassers,” Stein wrote in her recount request. ”I request that all of the precincts and absent voter counting board precincts within the state of Michigan be recounted by hand count.”