State Rep. Aaron Miller, chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee, voted last week to advance two measures to protect taxpayers from paying for recounts in elections that are not closely contested.
The 2016 recount charade for which Michigan taxpayers were forced to foot the bill shows just how important it is to update statutes before it happens again, Miller said. He added that the bills protect tax dollars while still preserving the integrity of the recount process for instances in which it is truly necessary.
Under current law, if the number separating the winning candidate is more than 50 votes or half of 1 percent of total votes, the candidate requesting a recount pays $125 per precinct. Otherwise, the candidate making the request pays $25 per precinct.
In 2016, presidential candidate Jill Stein, who requested a statewide recount despite losing by more than 2 million votes in Michigan, incurred $973,250 in fees. The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office estimated the cost of a full statewide recount in the millions.
Both of Miller’s bills received unanimous bipartisan support in committee. They now move to the full House for consideration.