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Ingham Co. clerk calls recount $45K ‘logistical hell’

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Municipalities will get paid $125 for every precinct recounted in the statewide retallying of the presidential votes, but the money might not go far.

In Ingham County, Clerk Barb Byrum estimates it will cost $7,530 per day to operate a recount. It involves $6,250 in total pay for 50 recount employees who will be paid $125 per day to work from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“I get that this is some people’s Super Bowl,” Byrum said of the recount. “But this is my logistical hell.”

Byrum also is budgeting for renting tables and chairs as well as $500 a day for food “because I’m going to have to feed these poor people.” She is getting one break: The Ingham County fairgrounds is letting her stage the recount in its main arena for free.

But she’ll also have to pay an Ingham County sheriff’s deputy $600 to guard the county’s 135,000 ballots each night from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Ingham County’s 135 precincts will be reimbursed $16,875 from the $973,250 fee Green Party candidate Jill Stein had to pay on Wednesday to initiate the recount.

Byrum estimates it will take at least six days to recount Ingham County’s ballots — bringing the total cost to at least $45,180.

“This is just for my county,” she said.

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