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Michigan Legislature to Pass “Jill Swine Bill”

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The Michigan legislature is moving to make it practically impossible for someone like Jill Swine to cost tax payers millions for a frivolous recount.  Swine has paid nearly 1 million dollars for the recount but the cost to taxpayers will be between 4.5 million and 12 million dollars.  The bill passed in committee 5-3 and now goes to the full legislature.

(2) IF 1 CANDIDATE IS TO BE ELECTED TO THE OFFICE AND THE OFFICIAL CANVASS OF VOTES SHOWS THAT THE PERCENTAGE DIFFERENTIAL SEPARATING THE WINNING CANDIDATE AND THE PETITIONER IS MORE THAN 5.0% OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF VOTES CAST IN THE RACE, THE PETITIONER SHALL DEPOSIT WITH THE CLERK 100% OF THE ESTIMATED COST OF THE RECOUNT FOR EACH PRECINCT REFERRED TO IN HIS OR HER PETITION. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION, THE WINNING CANDIDATE IN A PRIMARY FOR A NONPARTISAN OFFICE WHERE ONLY 1 CANDIDATE WILL BE ELECTED MEANS THE CANDIDATE NOMINATED WITH THE LESSER NUMBER OF VOTES.

Conservative Review reported:

Michigan lawmakers are considering legislation to discourage futile recount efforts by candidates who lose their election bids by an incontestable amount, forcing the candidate to foot the bill for the recount.

Introduced by Republican state Sen. Lisa Lyons (R-Alto) last week, the bill, H.B. 6097, would make a candidate who lost by more than 5 percent pay for the full cost of the recount for each precinct referred to (there are 6,300 precincts in Michigan) in his or her petition. The bill passed on a 5-3 vote in the House Elections committee Tuesday, and now moves to the state’s full House of Representatives for consideration.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein filed for a hand recount of all 4.8 million votes in Michigan (among others) in the Nov. 8 presidential election, citing unreliable voting machines and supposed irregularities.

According to the Detroit Free Press, current state law requires candidates who lose their race by greater than 0.5 percent to pay $125 per precinct for the recount, while the state pays for the rest. For Jill Stein, that meant a $973,750 check written to the state of Michigan. But the Great Lakes State is by no means coming out in the black on the deal, as the cost is expected to be as much as $12 million.

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