Michigan recount over, rules federal judge

- A federal judge has issued a ruling to dissolve the temporary restraining order of the Michigan recount.

The presidential election ballot recount was due to concerns raised in Michigan among three battleground states whose narrow results were "red flagged" according to former Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She requested the recount and called into question the accuracy of vote scanning machines which could have been hacked.

In the opinion, written by US District Judge Mark Goldsmith, said the issues that Stein raised were "serious indeed" but there was not enough evidence of fraud to go ahead with the recount.

"The vulnerability of our system of voting poses the threat of potentially devastating attack on the integrity of our election system.

"But invoking a court's aid to remedy that problem in the manner Plaintiffs have chosen seeking a recount as an audit of the election to test whether the vulnerability led to actual compromise of the voting system - has never been endorsed by any court, and would require evidence of fraud or a mistake and speculative fear of them.

"Such evidence has not been presented here."

>>See below to read entire court ruling<<

On Tuesday a federal appeals court refused to stop the recount. Then hours later, a state appeals court ruled that the recount should never have started in the first place because Stein was not close to winning the election.

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel issued the following statement:

"This is a victory for the taxpayers and voters of Michigan who can be assured that their vote will count when the state's electors meet on December 19th. The courts have affirmed the stance the campaign has maintained from day one: Jill Stein, who received only 1.07 percent of the vote in Michigan, is not legally entitled to hijack the will of voters and drag them into an arduous and expensive publicity stunt.  
 
"Jill Stein's 1 percent temper tantrum cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars and would have cost them additional millions of dollars if not for the actions of President-Elect Trump, the Michigan Republican Party, and Attorney General Bill Schuette."

Opponents of the recount which began in parts of the state Monday and continued Tuesday, said it is costing tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars each day.

The Stein campaign's lead lawyers vow to appeal. A statement by Hayley Horowitz and Jessica Clarke said that by stopping the recount in Michigan, Trump and Michigan Republicans are "explicitly stripping the constitutional rights of Michigan voters from under them."

Their full statement: 

"We are deeply disappointed in Judge Goldsmith's ruling today, which gives deference to partisan state judges in Michigan who are attempting to block the state's recount simply because of the person who made the request, without regard for the integrity of Michigan's electoral system.

"The history of this country is one where federal courts step in to protect the constitutional voting rights of all Americans, especially when they are under attack in the states. Well today, they are under brutal attack. Backed by Michigan Republicans, Donald Trump -- who himself has repeatedly alleged widespread voter fraud and a 'rigged election'-- suddenly sees no need for a routine verification of the democratic process in Michigan. His efforts to suppress the vote count is a stunning about-face, even by Trump's own standards.

"Recounts are not about politics or parties; they are about our democracy. They are, as Judge Goldsmith said himself Monday, a way to ensure the 'fundamental right to vote, and to have that vote conducted fairly and counted accurately, which is the bedrock of our nation.' They are continuing to undermine confidence in the American political system by denying voters a chance to be reassured that the election results were accurate.

"But make no mistake, we are not backing down from this fight -- a fight to protect the hard-fought, hard-won civil and voting rights of all Americans. Our campaign will seek immediate relief in Michigan's Supreme Court to ensure the recount that is already underway in all Michigan counties continues.

"With so many irregularities in Michigan -- including more than 75,000 under-votes, many in urban areas, and widespread carelessness, and perhaps interference, with preserving ballots -- there is a real possibility the rights of voters in Michigan may have been suppressed during this election. We need this recount to ensure the fairness, accuracy and integrity of the vote." 

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Jill Stein was not "an aggrieved candidate" and that the recount should stop.

Stay with FOX 2 for more information as it becomes available. 

Stein Decision 12-07-16 by David Komer on Scribd

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