Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein on Wednesday filed for a ballot recount in Michigan, the last of the three battleground states where she has spearheaded the charge to verify the 2016 presidential election results.
"The people of Michigan and all Americans deserve a voting system we can trust," she said. "After a presidential election tarnished by the use of outdated and unreliable machines and accusations of irregularities, people of all political persuasions are asking if our election results are reliable."
Earlier this week, Michigan certified President-elect Donald Trump as the state's winner; however, Stein said, "We need to verify the vote in this and every election, so that Americans can be sure we have a fair, secure, and accurate voting system."
The recount could begin as soon as Friday for the state's 19 largest counties, followed by the smaller precincts, with goal of completing the process by December 10.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has estimated that the process could cost as much as $2 million, with Stein paying $973,250 and the rest coming from the counties. Michigan Republicans slammed the recount as a waste of money and "a reckless attempt to undermine the will of Michigan voters," as the state party's chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said.
However, Lonnie Scott, executive director of the advocacy group Progress Michigan, countered, "Every vote should count in an election. The integrity of the electoral process is priceless."
"It's been Michigan Republicans' wrong priorities that favor corporations that are the cause of the financial stress that local governments find themselves in, not this recount," Scott added, referring to the party spending $134 million in Capitol View building renovations and allowing Governor Rick Snyder to use public funds to pay for his legal defense in the Flint water crisis.
"Additionally, if this election doesn't deserve a recount, then why has Donald Trump said millions of people voted illegally in this election?" Scott said. "The biggest unanswered question of this election is, why are Republicans afraid of a recount?"
Stein has already filed for a recount in Wisconsin and sued to force one in Pennsylvania, where her campaign missed the filing deadline. A Wisconsin judge on Tuesday rejected Stein's request to have the state's 72 counties count their ballots entirely by hand, despite testimony from security experts that a manual recount would be the only way to make sure that Trump's win was not a result of outside interference or machine glitches.