Judge Mark A. Goldsmith approved the hand recounting of 4.8 million ballots that began in Michigan on Monday, instead of Wednesday. This is the largest recount in the state’s history and began two days earlier than initially planned because of timing.
Needless to say, the Republican Party wasn’t happy about this decision. So, through its attorney Gary Gordon of Lansing, the Party filed an appeal with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, November 6th, 2016 (earlier today) and the goal was to stop the recount dead in its tracks. Arguments were heard from both sides and a decision was made.
Republican Party Arguments
The Republican Party’s main argument was that the recount is a complete waste of the taxpayer’s money. This is because, the Green Party candidate Jill Stein, has nothing to gain from a victory. She finished fourth in Michigan to Donald Trump, and therefore, has no chance of overturning the results of the election. Additionally, her claim that there are flaws in the election system is solely based on speculation. Finally, Stein waited too long to file her recount request and it shouldn’t have been approved in the first place.
Another argument made by the Republican Party is that federal courts should stay out-of-state disputes. Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel said, “This is a Michigan issue, and should be handled by the Michigan court system…Michigan courts should decide Michigan election law.”
Judge Mark Goldsmith’s Arguments
Stein believes that the U.S. election system is deeply flawed and she wants to shed some light on this issue. As mentioned earlier, the Republican Party is arguing that this idea is solely based on speculation and is, therefore, a waste of the taxpayer’s money. In retaliation, Goldsmith said Americans have the right to vote and the right to question whether that vote is carried out fairly or not. To elaborate, he said, “The fundamental right invoked by plaintiffs – the right to vote, and to have that vote conducted fairly and counted accurately – is the very bedrock of our nation.” If someone wants to have the votes of an election recounted, then this should be allowed.
Additionally, Goldsmith added that concerns over money pale in comparison to an election’s integrity. He also stated that the recount began on Monday (and not Wednesday) because they wouldn’t have finished the recount by December 13th if they started later. This date’s set in place to make sure that Congress accepts the votes.
So, the case was presented on Tuesday, November 6th at 4 PM to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling was in favor of the recount and Judge Goldsmith’s decision. Therefore, the count will continue until the parties can get to the federal court and plead their case before Goldsmith.