Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is getting a decent amount of support in her recount effort in several states, tapping into the anti-Donald Trump hysteria that has flourished following the election.
Now Hillary Clinton’s campaign has said it’s joining the effort, calling for recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — states that Trump won by a close margin. In Michigan, he narrowly won with 10,704 votes.
Stein, who only got 1.1 percent of the vote in Michigan, has to cover a portion of the hand recount of 4.8 million votes. But what she’s required to pay will only offset a fraction of the cost to the state — the rest will fall to state taxpayers, says Republican political consultant Stu Sandler.
The Secretary of State’s office has estimated Stein will have to pay $790,000 — $125 for each precinct — as laid out in state statute.
Sandler estimates the true cost to the state will be closer to $12 million, based on past recount expenses for counties. That’s a large financial burden for something that’s unlikely to change the outcome.
According to the website FiveThirtyEight, only three of 27 recounts (out of 4,687 statewide general elections since 2000) were successful, but by much smaller margins than what would be needed to change the tally in Michigan.
This recount effort will cost the state, and it doesn’t pose any benefit to state residents.