On Wednesday afternoon, the campaign of two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed for a vote recount in Michigan at the Board of Elections. It is the last of three states Stein has expressed intent to request recounts in, along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The campaign is asking that nearly 5 million ballots be recounted by hand rather than using machines. As stated in the request, "I request that all of the precincts and absent voter counting board precincts within the state of Michigan be recounted by hand count."
Stein cited concern over a high number of ballots cast in the state on which the presidential field was left blank, at least according to initial results. As Detroit News noted, the more than 75,000 blank ballots this year were twice as many as those cast in the state in 2008. A voting machine may read a ballot as blank if a voter marks it too lightly or if some other error occurs.
Michigan is also the recount state in which Donald Trump has the smallest margin of victory over Hillary Clinton; he won by 10,704 votes in the state. According to CBS News, the state is prepared to begin recounting ballots on Friday or Saturday, and to wrap up the recount by Dec. 10.
Though Michigan seems poised to cooperate smoothly with Stein's request, the process could hit a roadblock if Trump's campaign follows through on its expressed intent, as reported by CBS News, to contest a hand recount in the state, pushing instead for a recount conducted by machines. If Trump moves to contest Stein's request, it could delay the process past the Dec. 13 federal deadline for vote recounts. Stein's recount hopes for Wisconsin were frustrated when a judge ruled that counties would be given the option whether to use a hand recount or machine recount.
Stein has said that the purpose of the recount is not to hopefully flip the result of the election — Clinton would need results in all three states to turn her way, which is extremely unlikely — but to test the reliability of our voting systems. "We are standing up for a voting system that we deserve, that we can have confidence in, that has integrity and security, and that we know is not subject to tampering, malfeasance, hacking and so on," she said. Barring any delays, Michigan's 4.8 million ballots will be among those recounted toward that end.