Wisconsin judge orders presidential vote recount to continue: local media
A recount of presidential votes will continue in Wisconsin, one of three states where the Green Party is pursuing recounts of the Nov. 8 election, local news media reported on Friday.
A political action committee supporting President-elect Donald Trump sought to stop the Wisconsin recount, which is already underway, but U.S. District Judge James Peterson dismissed the request and said the recount would continue, according to local news media.
“The recount is an inherent part of what ensures the integrity of elections,” the Wisconsin State Journal quoted Peterson as saying during Friday’s hearing.
However, even if the recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin sought by Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein go ahead, they would be extremely unlikely to change the outcome of the election in which Trump, a Republican, defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Although Clinton won the national popular vote, she lost to Trump in the Electoral College, the 538-person body chosen state-by-state that actually selects the president. Trump, who won a projected 306 electoral votes, takes office on Jan. 20. Stein won no Electoral College votes.
The three “Rust Belt” states narrowly supported Trump, reversing their recent history of backing Democratic candidates for president.
In Pennsylvania, a federal judge was scheduled to hear arguments on Friday afternoon in a lawsuit brought by Stein seeking to begin a statewide recount there.
A federal judge on Wednesday halted the Michigan recount in its third day by siding with a state appeals court that found Stein did not have grounds to mount the challenge. Stein said the recount was aimed at reinforcing the integrity of Michigan’s voting system, while Trump supporters called it a waste of money.
Stein has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to hear an appeal. That court could rule at any time on Stein’s appeal.
Federal law requires states to resolve disputes over the appointment of Electoral College voters by Dec. 13.
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)