Just after midnight on Monday, a federal judge ordered the Michigan election recount to start at noon local time, after Green Party candidate Jill Stein made an emergency request.
The order came in response to a filing by Stein's lawyers claiming "a state law requiring a two-business-day waiting period to start the recount likely violates voting rights," the Detroit Free Press reported.
After a "rare," three-hour Sunday hearing, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled that Stein had shown "a credible threat that the recount, if delayed, would not be completed" by December 13—which it must be to ensure Michigan's electoral votes are counted when the Electoral College meets on December 19.
It's unclear how Goldsmith's early-Monday decision impacts Stein's separate filing, over the weekend, seeking to intervene in Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's attempt to block the recount. Stein also plans to intervene Monday on an attempt by lawyers for President-elect Donald Trump to stop the recount.
"[Stein attorney Mark] Brewer wouldn't 'speculate' on how Goldsmith's order, which said the recount must continue until Goldsmith orders otherwise, impacts the state court cases," the Free Press wrote.
Mlive reports that in the wake of the ruling, "[o]fficials and election workers in Ingham and Oakland Counties kicked off the recount process shortly after noon Monday."
Meanwhile, news agencies report that, as expected, the Green Party filed a federal lawsuit on Monday seeking a statewide recount.
And in Wisconsin, according to the Associated Press:
The recount began Thursday and continued over the weekend, with little change so far in the unofficial results as reported on election night. Six counties had completed their work as of Monday morning, with the margin between Trump and Clinton unchanged. Both candidates lost 20 votes.
A federal lawsuit was filed late last week by a Trump voter and two super PACs seeking to stop the recount. The judge rejected a request to halt the recount while the lawsuit is pending and scheduled a hearing for Friday.
Stein held a news conference Monday outside Trump Tower in New York City, where she declared of the Pennsylvania recount: "Whether it will change the outcome, we don't know, and it would be unfair to raise expectations that the outcome will change. That is not our intent. This is about ensuring that all votes get counted and that voters can trust the system going forward. We are here to assure Donald Trump that he has nothing to be afraid of."
"Let every vote count," she said. "That's what makes America great."