Michigan recount over; Pennsylvania sets hearing

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Posted: Dec 08, 2016 3:47 PM
Michigan recount over; Pennsylvania sets hearing

DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge's ruling that effectively halted Michigan's presidential recount after three days assured Republican Donald Trump's narrow victory in the state.

Meanwhile, the fate of Green Party candidate Jill Stein's request for a recount in Pennsylvania must wait at least until a federal court hearing on Friday, just four days before the Dec. 13 federal deadline for states to certify their election results.

Trump narrowly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in both states and Wisconsin, which started its recount last week and is nearing completion.

Clinton needed all three states to flip in order to take enough electoral votes to win the election. Trump has 306 electoral votes to Clinton's 232; 270 are needed to win. Michigan has 16 electoral votes, Pennsylvania has 20 and Wisconsin has 10. Electors convene Dec. 19 across the country to vote for president.

None of the recounts was expected to affect the outcome of the election. Stein, who received about 1 percent of the vote in all three states, said she requested them to verify the accuracy of the vote. She has suggested, without evidence, that the votes were susceptible to hacking.

Here's what's happening in each state and in Nevada, where a partial recount of the race was requested by independent presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente:

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WISCONSIN

The recount is more than 82 percent complete in Wisconsin, and Clinton has gained just 61 votes on Trump, who won the state by more than 22,000 votes. The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported Thursday that 47 of 72 counties had completed their work and that the others are on track to finish by next week's deadline. More than 2.4 million votes out of the nearly 3 million cast have been recounted.

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MICHIGAN

A recount that started Monday ended Wednesday night. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith set aside his earlier order that got the recount moving, acting after the state appeals court said Stein doesn't qualify as an "aggrieved" candidate under Michigan law.

"This is a victory for the taxpayers and voters of Michigan," said Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairman of the state Republican Party.

The state elections board said the recount would stop after Goldsmith's decision. Trump won Michigan by about 10,700 votes over Clinton. More than 20 counties started recounting ballots, and more were poised to start Thursday. Roughly 4.8 million ballots were cast.

Goldsmith said Stein raised serious issues about the integrity of Michigan's election system. But he said she offered "speculative claims" and "not actual injury."

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PENNSYLVANIA

U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia has scheduled a hearing Friday on the request for a recount. The Republican Party and Trump warned that the case threatens Pennsylvania's ability to certify its election before the Dec. 13 federal deadline. Stein's team hasn't produced evidence of hacking, but calls Pennsylvania's election system "a national disgrace."

Trump's lead over Clinton is about 44,000 out of more than 6 million votes cast in Pennsylvania.

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NEVADA

A partial recount is underway in Nevada at the request of De La Fuente, who finished last with a fraction of 1 percent of the vote. He paid about $14,000 for the recount to provide what he called a counterbalance to the recounts sought by Stein. Most of the 92 precincts being re-counted are in the Las Vegas area, with eight of the precincts in four other counties. If the sample shows a discrepancy of at least 1 percent for De La Fuente or Clinton, a full recount will be launched in all 17 Nevada counties. Clinton defeated Trump in Nevada by 27,202 votes, out of 1.1 million votes cast. Nevada Secretary of State spokeswoman Gail Anderson said the recount will be finished by Friday.

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Associated Press writers Ed White in Detroit; Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.