Federal judge suspends Michigan’s recount, but challenge not over

Detroit's presidential election recount began Tuesday at Cobo Hall. By Steve Neavling.
Detroit’s presidential election recount began Tuesday at Cobo Hall. By Steve Neavling.

A federal judge on Wednesday halted the presidential election recount in Michigan, siding with a state appeals court that ruled Green Party candidate Jill Stein had no standing to challenge the election.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a written opinion Wednesday, saying there’s no evidence of widespread fraud or voting irregularities that would change the results of the election, which Donald Trump won by just 0.15%.

To date, plaintiffs have not presented evidence of tampering or mistake,” Goldsmith wrote. “Instead, they present speculative claims going to the vulnerability of the voting machinery – but not actual injury.”

Stein’s legal team plans to appeal the decision.

The Board of State Canvassers is expected to suspend the recount as early as Thursday morning.

Stein’s attorneys say there’s strong evidence of significant voting problems, especially in Detroit, where more than half of the precincts were likely to be deemed ineligible for a recount because of broken seals and disparities between results in the poll books and ballot boxes. 

The recount in Detroit started Tuesday and was expected to continue through Wednesday. Numerous problems were found during the recount, raising serious questions about the accuracy of elections in Detroit.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.