Donald Trump supporters go to court to block vote recounts in three States

The US’ state of Michigan’s Attorney General yesterday filed a lawsuit to halt the Green Party’s requested recount of presidential votes in the state, adding to Republican efforts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to maintain Donald Trump’s victory.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference at the Verizon Center, on Monday, March 21, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

This is coming as President Barack Obama on Friday said he was confident that U.N. Secretary General-elect, Antonio Guterres, would be an effective manager of the international organisation.

“He has an extraordinary reputation,” Obama said during his meeting at the White House with Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal. Bill Schuette, a Republican, said in a statement that recounting all of the state’s votes “threatens to silence all Michigan votes for president” and criticized Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein for what he called an “inexcusable” and expensive request.

The Green Party had sought recounts of the results from the Nov. 8 election in the three states, which bucked their history of supporting Democrats and voted narrowly for Trump, a Republican.

The party has said its campaign is focused on ensuring the integrity of the U.S. voting system. Even if the recounts take, they are extremely unlikely to change the overall result of the election, in which Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Stein, who scored only about 1 percent of the vote, has said the recount campaign is not targeted at Trump or Clinton.

The presidential race is decided by the Electoral College, or a tally of wins from the state-by-state contests, rather than by the popular national vote. Trump far surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win, with 306 electoral votes, and the recount would have to flip the result to Clinton in all three states to change the overall result. In the popular vote, Clinton won more than 2.5 million more votes than Trump, according to the Cook Political Report.

On Thursday, attorneys for Trump moved to block an effort to recount the vote in Pennsylvania and Michigan, Politico reported. In Wisconsin, a Trumpsupporting political action committee, Great America PAC, sued in federal court on Thursday seeking to block a recount there.

The lawsuit cited as legal precedent the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bush v. Gore decision that ended the 2000 election and Florida recount.

The Wisconsin Republican Party has also filed a complaint over the recount effort in that state, it said. Lawyers for Clinton have said they would take part in the Wisconsin recount effort to ensure her campaign is legally represented, and that they would do the same if necessary in Michigan and Pennsylvania. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Thursday night he would nominate retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, known as “Mad Dog” and renowned for his tough talk and battlefield experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, to lead the Pentagon.

“We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defense,” Trump told a rally in Cincinnati. He said the formal announcement would be made on Monday.

The choice of a seasoned military strategist would be another indication that Trump, a Republican, intends to steer U.S. foreign policy away from Democratic President Barack Obama’s increased reliance on U.S. allies to fight Islamist militants and to help deter Russian and Chinese aggression in Europe and Asia.

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