Starting noon Monday, a massive hand recount of 4.8 million ballots cast in the state of Michigan for the presidential election will officially be underway by order of U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith. The ruling was issued only twelve hours ago in favor of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s request to speed up the process.
Specifically, Goldsmith ruled that the recount “shall commence and must continue until further order of this court.” He further adds: “Defendants shall instruct all governmental units participating in the recount to assemble necessary staff to work sufficient hours to assure that the recount is completed in time to comply with the ‘safe harbor’ provision.”
“Safe harbor” is a period of time for presidential electors before the presidency is finalized on Dec. 19, which is required by federal law. Dec. 13 is the official deadline to finalize the vote total for the Electoral College.
The manual recount was scheduled for Wednesday, but Stein and her team of lawyers apparently made the compelling case that the recount needed to start Monday, hinging on the “safety of our democracy.” Judge Goldsmith’s ruling proves he shares the same sentiment. “Without elections that are conducted fairly – and perceived to be fairly conducted – public confidence in our political institutions will swiftly erode,” Goldsmith wrote in favor of beginning the process Monday rather than Wednesday.
It is noteworthy to recognize that Goldsmith was appointed by President Barack Obama to the federal bench in 2010.
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