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Partial recount of Prop 3 ballots in Livingston County results in four additional “Yes” votes

A partial recount of votes cast in Livingston County for Proposal 3, which enshrined abortion rights in the Michigan Constitution, was completed on Wednesday with a statistically insignificant change in the vote tally.

In Livingston County, the recount only affected ballots in 24 precincts (12 regular and 12 absentee voter) located in Genoa, Green Oak, Hamburg, Oceola, Putnam & Tyrone townships, as well as the City of Howell.

It was carried out Wednesday at the John E. LaBelle Public Safety Complex on Tooley Road in Howell, and after recounting approximately 17,000 ballots, a total of four “Yes” votes were added in favor of Proposal 3 and a single “No” vote was subtracted, resulting in a five vote swing in support of the ballot initiative.

The five vote difference represents .0002% of the ballots, essentially confirming the validity of the county’s voting process and contradicting the claims by the group behind the recount effort.

The recount, which is taking place in more than 600 precincts across Michigan, was ordered after petitions were filed last week with the support of Election Integrity Force (EIF), a Michigan GOP group that has made numerous false claims about the 2020 election.

The petitions allege that the recount was necessitated by concerns over “a significant risk of foreign or domestic hacking” taking place in the election, claims similar to those made by Republicans since Donald Trump lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

Those claims have been continually disproven, including by a 2021 report from the Republican-controlled Michigan Senate Oversight Committee which “found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election,” and concluded “citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan.”

Meanwhile, a separate recount of the ballots cast for a seat on the Hartland Consolidated Schools’ Board of Education will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Candidate Greg Keller requested the recount after he and incumbent Michelle Hemeyer both received 5,264 votes on Nov. 8.

After the Livingston County Board of Canvassers confirmed the tie, a tiebreaker drawing was held in accordance with state election law in which Hemeyer drew a piece of paper that said “elected,” meaning she would take the seat.

However, rather than accept that outcome, Keller asked for a recount.

The Hartland school district will have to reimburse the county for the cost of the recount, which Hemeyer said could be between $10,000 to $15,000.

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