MICHIGAN: Federal Judge Ends Recount Effort

The Detroit Free Press reports:

After two days of ballot counting, conflicting court decisions and legal wranglings between frustrated lawyers, a federal judge on Wednesday night halted the hand recount of 4.8 million ballots cast for president in Michigan, concluding there’s no real evidence of foul play and there’s no valid reason to continue the recount.

In his eight-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith said “there is no basis” for him to ignore a state court ruling that said the recount should never had started. He was referring to the Michigan Court of Appeals 3-0 ruling, which said that Green Party Candidate Jill Stein, who requested the recount, never had a shot at winning with her fourth-place finish and 1% of the vote, and therefore was not an aggrieved candidate.

Goldsmith’s ruling also bolstered some arguments that were repeatedly made by the Michigan Republican Party: that there was never any evidence that hacking or fraud occurred at the polls, and that Michigan’s voting system is so secure that not even the “Gremlins, Martians or Russian hackers” could tamper with it. That argument appeared to carry some weight with the judge.

“To date, plaintiffs have not presented evidence of tampering or mistake. Instead, they present speculative claims going to the vulnerability of the voting machinery — but not actual injury,” Goldsmith wrote, adding the potential for fraud is not enough to continue to allow the recount to proceed.

The Republican Party also apparently convinced Goldsmith that the recount would have cost taxpayers too much money — $5 million by one count — if his comments are any indication. “It is at least arguable that the Michigan Legislature intended to confine costly and disruptive recounts to cases where a losing candidate stood a reasonable chance of changing the outcome of the election,” Goldsmith wrote.

  • Dejerrity Mycron

    Buh-bye Jill, we won’t miss you

    • You’re an idiot, this wasn’t about Jill.

      • Dejerrity Mycron

        She filed the lawsuit for the recount. She drained votes that would have gone to Hillary. It was always all about Jill. And I’m blocking your ignorant ass.

        • Uncle Mark

          I agree with you about this being about Jill and her draining votes from Hillary, but in regard to the voting recounts, let’s just refer to Jill as “a useful idiot.”

        • dr morbius

          “She drained votes that would have gone to Hillary.”

          Arrogant fucking Dem fantasy. As someone who has voted minor-party for prez since ’88, i assure you nothing could’ve persuded me to vote for Clinton in a state she was going to win.

          Blame everyone but your lousy elitist candidate.

      • Mark

        “Idiot”? Did you really need to lob a slam first thing today?

      • It was about Jill.

    • The_Wretched

      63 comments. Are you new or a Russian sowing discord?

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    A state controlled by Governor appointed emergency managers is totally free of any corruption, scandal or malfeasance. Right Flint? /s

    • safari

      We repealed the emergency manager law by ballot referendum. But the governor, being wiser than the voters, signed a new one into law to replace the repealed one and the GOP passed it in such a way to make sure that the pesky voters could never try that referendum trick again on in it.

      • SoCalGal20

        Oh, hey, like with the new strict voter ID law they just passed. Which, btw, won’t let Detroit residents use a city-issued (?) ID that they are able to use for banking and other puposes as proof for voting.

  • Dramphooey

    The deplorables had better reign in their lying-fake news sites, then, because they are already running articles saying the recount in Michigan found voter fraud favoring Clinton. Hurry, guys; the narrative has changed. Winston Smith, we need a rewrite, pronto.

    • Michael R

      I saw that in comments yesterday and it spread quickly ( recount found more votes for Trump = lie ) , if you ask them for a source it’s like Trump , someone somewhere said something . People should be embarrassed to believe and spread lies but they just aren’t .

  • Mark

    So much for any validity. It’s official:Trump is rigged.

  • This is false. The recount hasn’t ended. The case now goes to the Michigan Supreme Court.

    • The_Wretched

      The MI SCT has at least 2 insane rightwing nutjobs.

  • Nax

    How about the president-elect saying over and over and over again that the vote is rigged? Is that evidence? Am I supposed to take that literally, but not seriously. Or seriously, but not literally? I can never keep up.

    • Scott MB

      How about Rethuglicans constantly talking about illegal votes being cast. Wasn’t it something like 2 million illegal voters on the rolls? When it suits their narrative the boogie man illegal voters are out in droves and the election is rigged. But if they win then no foul at all. Trump called it right, the election was rigged, problem is he is the one that rigged it.

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  • Tom000

    I still have not heard a valid reason why the recount shouldn’t take place. I don’t care anything about Jill Stein, I just wanted to know if there would be any significant difference between the official result and the recount result. I contributed $100 to the recount effort.

    • Mark

      Personally, I applaud the recount – even though I am pretty sure it will make little difference. I am now 80% convinced Interstate Crosscheck is the culprit.

      • Ore Carmi

        On of several problems! Voter ID laws, a biased and irresponsible media, lack of checks on corporate influence on elections, an undemocratic electoral system, targeted closure of polling places… The more I think about this, the more problems I come up with.

    • Butch

      Don’t know if you’re familiar with the news site MLive – a story there yesterday described problems with double-counting caused by broken machines and ballots that couldn’t be recounted because of evidence of tampering. There are good reasons for the recount, but Republicans hate democracy, so there you go.

    • It is not about why a recount shouldn’t take place. It is about any hope that it will make a difference. Recounts won’t change the election outcomes when the difference is a couple thousands votes. There is enough of a cushion to help the winner with a shift of either found ballots or misplaced ballots. There are serious flaws within the voting, both on state and county levels. I am all for uniformity on ballot counting and basic uniformity on how the ballot and voting should be set up..

      I wouldn’t give money to Dr. Jill Stein’s recount efforts, because she could had used the money for other things besides the recounts. Second, I just saw this more about Jill Stein, than actually finding the many faults in how states count ballots and tallies on election day.

      • Dave Babler

        At this point:
        I.
        DO.
        NOT.
        CARE….if the vote changes. There are obvious systemic problems with the voting system in Michigan and it needs a full investigation, part of that is a recount and an audit.

  • cue endless posts about how much Jill sucks 3..2..1..

    for those of you who realize this was never about Jill or your feelings about her: another sad day in the frightening but wholly preventable decline in the practice of democracy in this country. the silver lining i’m seeing is at least this time around, a few otherwise unaware dem voters and left leaning moderates are at least now aware of the fact that Something is Rotten in the denmark of voting in this country. gee, maybe we should take that seriously?

    for more than sixteen years, some of us have been very, very concerned about the integrity of the process. and like the proverbial slowly boiling frog, most americans who think democracy is a good thing have ignored, purposefully disregarded, or mocked people who take it seriously in practice, and not just as an immutable ideal. the “it can’t happen here” mentality is in large part responsible for HRC’s loss, and this is just another element of it.

    as i always do on these threads, i encourage people to read the grandfather of blogging about the ongoing loss of voting integrity in this country, Bradblog.com. nowadays, there are dozens of sites dedicated to the issue, and more importantly, efforts in local areas to fix the many problems. people should also turn their eyes west, where CA and OR are leading the way in stopping the disenfranchisement of voters with common sense apolitical initiatives and citizen-led changes to how we vote, who counts it, and how to make people aware of what they can do to preserve and protect it. note too that both those states are trending even more blue than they already were.

    or, just sit around on your ass and blog about how much Jill sucks for taking the election away from HRC… even tho she didn’t, and even tho the latter actually won the election. decades of putting judges in office like this asshole, and other nefarious but little noticed activities, are the reason why democracy is going to be next to impossible to reestablish in this country. that and the fact that people like to be distracted by exciting new ways of name calling, rather than do the hard work of organizing a voter-led reform for secure voting in their state.

    • Dr. Jill Stein still does suck.

      • The_Wretched

        Focusing on Jill means missing the solutions. Work needs to be done to hold all office holders accountable for fixing transparency and auditibility on the voting system and keeping the pressure up on making voting easier for more people.

        • Dr. Jill Stein doesn’t want to be part of the solution, she just wants attention. I am all for solutions, but when 46% of the voting population didn’t even showed up to vote by Election Day 2016, we end up with the government run by idiots voted in by idiots..

          If you want transparency, audibility and a fair voting system, then work in getting out the vote and fighting voting suppression laws.

          There are also other kooky reasons why Dr. Jill Stein is doing this, which falls more into the chemtrails and wifi causing cancer paranoia.

          • The_Wretched

            Utter voodoo witchcraft or not, recounts are done by human beings (or humans pushing machines around, which i’m not convinced works). The actions are valid regardless of the mentition leading to them. I still have no clue why the Dems are working so hard to pretend that the election system is valid and trustworthy when it clearly isn’t.

          • dr morbius
    • Moebym, Resistance Pilot

      You’re absolutely right. We’ve all been turning a blind eye to the Republicans’ slow, methodical dismantling of our institutions of democracy in the interest of “keeping the peace”. Next thing you know, we may be seeing a military junta installing our leaders in our newly totalitarian state.

    • Ore Carmi

      Thank you for this! I’ve been aware of serious problems with voting infrastructure–and of evidence of tampering–since 2004. And, of course, voter suppression and disenfranchisement have been with us since the beginning of the Republic! Thanks for the tip on the “grandfather” blog.

  • Fight For Your Lives

    Headline: Democracy Dies. United States Devolves Into Cheeto Republic Oligarchy.

  • missmobtown
    • Ore Carmi

      Thanks for this. Why is the media so eager to end the recount?

  • Michael R

    They seem to be ignoring the possibility of Russian / other tampering .
    I like that this undermines Trump’s presidency along with losing the popular vote .
    Everything else is shit and it’s going to get worse .

  • Ninja0980

    Trump likely had help in rigging the MI vote but the fact remains if Bernie and Jill hadn’t made Hillary to be an evil spawn of Satan, there is a better chance that she could have won.
    She deserves no kudos or support at all as far I’m concerned.

    • The_Wretched

      Bernie is not responsible for Republican election frauds or crooked pro-Republican judges.

  • IamM

    Uh, any vote tampering or negligence that affected the outcome is a direct harm to the voters and public confidence that democracy relies on, therefore it is in the public interest to have a robust proactive system of audits and recounts to ensure the systems’ integrity.

  • jm2

    an Obama appointee! how strange…

  • Gerry Fisher

    A legislative inquiry might work better than forcing this through the courts. (I won’t hold my breath.)

  • Kelly Lape

    So we are left with a system in which the voting public can no longer have any confidence in our system. Der Pumpkin Fuehrer will never be a legitimate executive.

    • The_Wretched

      Being down >2.5 million votes ensures that. This legal bs stopping an investigation into the voting irregularities keeps us from knowing how badly the EC was fixed.

  • The_Wretched

    Total BS. This is what institutional power backing Republicans over the good of the democracy looks like. It stinks. It’s hard to believe but there you go. Raw power backing the Republicans.

  • dr morbius

    Jill Stein did more for democracy in two weeks than Mme Clinton has in 40 years.

    • Ore Carmi

      Well I disagree with your assessment of Clinton there. But I agree that what Jill Stein is doing is important for democracy, whatever her actual impetus.

  • TK

    An eight page opinion and probably a six figure “contribution” to some secret bank account. The Trump Reich won’t sit still for an actual legal recount.

  • Rick Jackson

    Trump will never be a legitimate president. There will always be a reasonable doubt about the legitimacy of his presidency. He does not care about the truth; only about power. Resist.

  • John Mayor

    And this is the reason why Attorney John Birke filed his One Voter, One Vote brief on November 14, 2016, in California!… as such tactical strategies as Electoral College Lobbying, and Vote Recounts– even if allowed!– would be insufficient to turn things around!
    .
    In Google’s search bar, type, John Birke Foxla.com, and enter the first result! This effort by John Birke, is– by far, and so far!– the most remarkable challenge to Trump, and to the Electoral College, that has been mounted todate! And if it succeeds, no Recount will matter!… as the Electoral College tally will then have been proven to be a breach of the 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution! This Election isn’t over yet!… and Trump’s “win” is still tentative until the Electors meet on December 19, and until Congress meets on January 6, 2017! But then!… and as I’ve indicated!… there’s John Birke!
    .
    Please!… no emails!

  • JOHN MAYOR

    ATTENTION JOE AND JMG COMMUNITY, THE FOLLOWING IS AN URGENT NOTICE!!:…
    .
    Under Google’s search bar, enter C-o-l-o-r-a-d-o Electoral College lawsuit set for 3 p.m. Monday in Denver (but remove the hyphens from Colorado!), and hit Enter!
    .
    Please!… no emails!
    .
    P.S.: Some wayward jerk has “disconnected” the link in an earlier message left at another JMG blog related to this present topic’s theme; and thereby, ending the ability of various JMG readers to become apprised of a very useful bit info over the weekend, that would directly and indirectly benefit the JMG community! And, frankly!… only an ENEMY of the JMG community would do this!
    .
    As the said creator/ inventor of the Blog, Jorn Barger, extolled linking, and batch communicating… and, as links have clearly been effected in this site (and I, having benefited from this ability to help others through this JMG tool!), I can only surmise that some “rogue element” has done this! Now… I don’t know what Joe can do to correct this, but, I honestly feel that an effort must be made!… and, inasmuch, as this is a HARM to the souls, for which the denied info, was aimed!