Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The Michigan recount was poised to begin Friday. (Photo: Graham Davis/flickr/cc)

Trump Allies in Battleground States Rush to Stop Jill Stein's Recount Efforts

Lawyers and super PACs in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania file federal lawsuits to halt or block efforts, some already underway

Nadia Prupis

President-elect Donald Trump's allies are trying to block the ballot recount being pushed by the Green Party's Jill Stein.

Late Thursday, two super PACs and a team of Trump attorneys filed lawsuits in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, respectively, to try to block the efforts in those states. And on Friday morning, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette followed suit, filing a lawsuit to stop the recount that is set to begin today.

In Wisconsin, where the process is already underway, the Great America PAC, the Stop Hillary PAC, and an individual voter claimed the recount request Stein filed last week violates the due process of voters in the state, and could "unjustifiably cast doubt upon the legitimacy of President-Elect Donald J. Trump's victory." They also say the short window for the process could result in errors.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit in Pennsylvania argues that Stein lacks a valid claim and only "alleges speculative illegality."

David Cobb, Stein's campaign manager, responded to the conflict in Pennsylvania on Friday, stating that "Donald Trump will do anything and everything to block Pennsylvania voters from knowing whether their votes counted. Why is he so worried about letting this recount move forward? We will continue to help Pennsylvania voters make sure that the election in Pennsylvania had integrity and that their votes counted."

And Schuette, a Republican, asked the Michigan Supreme Court to stop the recount effort poised to begin Friday on the grounds that "[i]f allowed to proceed, the statewide hand recount could cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars and would put Michigan voters at risk of being disenfranchised in the electoral college."

That's an argument state Republicans put forward when Stein officially filed there on Wednesday. The advocacy group Progress Michigan countered at the time that "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," the group's executive director Lonnie Scott said at the time, 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.

Stein fired back at Schuette on Friday, saying Republicans' "cynical efforts to delay the recount and create unnecessary costs for taxpayers are shameful and outrageous."

The recount in Michigan would have to be completed by December 13.

And her lead recount lawyer, Matthew Brinckerhoff, pushed back at opponents in Wisconsin as well, warning that the campaign "plans to intervene and join the Wisconsin Elections Commission in defending the recount. Citizens in Wisconsin and across the country have made it clear that they want a recount and deserve to see this process through to ensure integrity in the vote."

As Politico reports, while there's no indication that the pro-Trump actors coordinated their effort, they all filed roughly within 24 hours of each other. Reporters Nolan D. McCaskill and Daniel Strauss note that it wasn't until Hillary Clinton's campaign got involved in Stein's effort that it began to gain traction—and the attention of Republican opponents.

Trump himself only mentioned the recount after Clinton's team publicly announced its support. He tweeted, without evidence, that he won the popular vote in a landslide "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Coalition Slams UN Food Summit for Peddling 'Corporate-Led False Solutions' to Hunger

"The U.N. has finally made it clear what 'multilateralism' is all about—paying lip service to the people while skewing priorities for the interests of imperialists and monopoly capitalists."

Jake Johnson ·


'Political Malpractice': House Democrats' Bill Wouldn't Add Dental to Medicare Until 2028

"I don't want to see it drawn out to as far as the House has proposed," Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a recent press call.

Jake Johnson ·


'How Many More Deaths Must It Take?' Barbados Leader Rips Rich Nations in Fierce UN Speech

"How many more variants of Covid-19 must arrive, how many more, before a worldwide plan for vaccinations will be implemented?"

Jake Johnson ·


To Avert Debt Ceiling Calamity, Democrats Urged to Finally Kill the Filibuster

"The solution is to blow up the filibuster at least for debt limit votes, just as Mitch blew it up to pack the Supreme Court for his big donors."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo