Michigan Attorney General files lawsuit to stop Jill Stein vote recount

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced he has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the People of the State of Michigan to stop a frivolous request by Green Party candidate Jill Stein to recount the entire state’s Presidential election results by hand, a request that will cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars and threatens to silence all Michigan votes for President.

“Michigan voters rejected Stein’s candidacy by massive margins but her refusal to accept that state-verified result poses an expensive and risky threat to hard-working taxpayers and abuses the intent of Michigan law,” said Schuette.  “We have asked the court to end the recount which Stein is pursuing in violation of Michigan laws that protect the integrity of our elections. It is inexcusable for Stein to put Michigan voters at risk of paying millions and potentially losing their voice in the Electoral College in the process.”

Schuette’s suit, filed in his constitutional role of representing the People of the State of Michigan, asks the Michigan Court of Appeals to order the Michigan Board of Canvassers to reject Stein’s request for a statewide hand recount of the November 8, 2016 Presidential election because that request violates Michigan law. Schuette’s suit explains that the Michigan statute authorizing recounts requires the petitioning candidate to demonstrate that she was “aggrieved” by fraud or mistake in the counting of votes.  Stein concedes that she has no evidence of fraud or mistake, and Stein has not been “aggrieved” in any sense of that word – she received only 1% of the nearly 4.8 million votes cast in Michigan and has no chance of winning.

Schuette also file an emergency motion with the Michigan Supreme Court asking to bypass the Court of Appeals for immediate consideration.

Schuette’s suit also explains that Stein’s demand for a recount will be at the expense of Michigan taxpayers—she will pay only $787,500 of a bill the Secretary of State estimates to be as much as $5 million—and risky as well, because the delay caused by a hand recount puts Michigan’s votes at risk of not being included when the United States Congress convenes on January 6, 2017 to count the states’ electoral votes.

To provide legal representation to elections officials in the Michigan Secretary of State’s office and also fulfill his separate constitutional role as the People’s Attorney in this case, Schuette has erected a conflict wall in his office, as has traditionally been done in the Department going back more than 40 years.  While a select group of Department of Attorney General attorneys will be representing state elections officials in court, Schuette and his select legal team will represent the People of Michigan for the duration of this case, in issues specifically related to this case.

The case was filed Friday morning, December 2nd, and is entitled, Attorney General Bill Schuette on Behalf of the People of the State of Michigan v. Board of State Canvassers and Chris Thomas, Director of Elections.  A copy of the Attorney General’s Complaint in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Motion for Bypass and for Immediate Consideration in the Michigan Supreme Court, and merits brief are available on the Attorney General’s website.

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