LANSING, Mich. — Republican candidate Ryan Kelley came in fourth place in the primary race for governor and was more than 250,000 votes behind the winner, Tudor Dixon. Now, Kelley is calling for a recount.
"In terms of the recount process, if the difference between their the number of votes received is fewer than 2000, 2000 or fewer. That triggers an automatic statewide recount," said Tracy Wimmer, the director of media relations for the Michigan Secretary of State. "In any other cases, the candidate must file a petition that they state that they would like a recount conducted, and then they pay to cover the number of precincts that they want included in this recount.”
A candidate must petition for a recount in specific counties and pay for those recount efforts themselves. In a close race, the candidate would need to pay $25 per precinct, but that price goes ups to $250 per precinct in races that are not as close. There are more than 4,000 precincts in Michigan.
“It is one thing for any particular candidate or organization to claim that they do not like the outcome of an election because they think it was fraudulent, or they think that there were errors. It's another for them to be willing to pay to prove that," Wimmer said. "And generally speaking, if a a candidate or organization is not willing to pay for a recount, that usually is a testament to the fact that it is rhetoric and not reality that is compelling them to say those things.”
Hypothetically, if the Kelley campaign wanted a recount for all of Michigan, his campaign would be looking at a bill upwards of $1 million. Wimmer tells me that, while small clerical errors do happen, Michigan's elections are safe and secure.
“Despite the misinformation and the rhetoric that continues to be pushed about the security of our elections, the fact that that many people turned out is a reinforcement, that they do believe their voice counts and their vote will be counted," she said. "And we are confident that the canvassing process will again affirm the same thing, that this is a secure and accurate election."
Now, the canvassing process begins. Wimmer describes it as the state’s own audit of the election, and in two weeks, the results from Tuesday will be certified.