It's definitely uncommon for third-party candidates to still be grabbing headlines weeks after an election, but Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is doing exactly that. Last week, while many Americans were recovering from food comas or going to Target at dawn for Black Friday sales, Stein was formally requesting a recount in Wisconsin. The Badger State announced it will move forward with the recount, so now many are looking to its eastern neighbor, which had even closer results. Could Stein actually initiate an election recount in Michigan?
A Michigan recount would have to be formally requested of the Michigan Secretary of State by Wednesday — and Stein seems likely to request it. However, Stein — or anyone requesting an election recount — had to wait to request it until after the Michigan Board of Canvassers completed its certification of the state's election results, which it didn't finish until shortly after 2 p.m. EST on Monday.
While FiveThirtyEight's Carl Bialik and others have predicted that the recount won't change anything in terms of who actually wins each election, Michigan nonetheless seems the likeliest state to turn blue. Of the three states in which Stein is advocating for a recount (the third is Pennsylvania), Michigan's electoral margin was the slimmest. Trump won by a mere 10,704 votes. Hillary Clinton will not win the electoral vote, though, unless all three states — Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — are awarded to her instead of Trump, which seems unlikely.
Regardless, Stein does not seem eager to see Clinton in the White House. After it was announced that Clinton's campaign would take part in Stein's recount efforts, the Green Party presidential candidate appeared to slam the Democratic one, tweeting on Saturday "You cannot be on-again, off-again about democracy."
As of Monday afternoon, the Stein campaign raised over $6 million for their recount efforts. Language on the fundraising website has always cautioned that the Green Party does not "guarantee" that the recounts will occur. As a result, Stein has been criticized for her efforts by some, including in a recent Nate Silver tweet wherein the data journalist wrote, "... if [Stein's recount effort] were a scam, it would probably look a lot like this." Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump also lashed out at Stein, calling her "ridiculous," then asserting the baseless claim that "millions" of Americans "voted illegally."
However heavily criticized they may be, Stein's actions do seem serious, at least insofar as she has continued to push for recounts. The recount in Wisconsin will officially be taking place. She has thrown her support behind a voter initiative for a recount in Pennsylvania, and she recently hired attorney Mark Brewer to assist in her Michigan efforts. It may not be enough to swing the election all on its own, but the Wolverine State appears headed for a recount either way.