Trump supporters try to block vote recounts in 3 states

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump moved on Friday to maintain his narrow victories in three states, pursuing legal challenges aimed at halting the Green Party's requests for long-shot recounts of the presidential votes there.

Lawsuits were pending in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, three "Rust Belt" states which bucked their history of supporting Democrats and gave Trump, a Republican, thin wins in the Nov. 8 election.

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The Green Party has said its requests for recounts in those states are focused on ensuring the integrity of the U.S. voting system and not on changing the result of the election.

Even if the recounts take place, they are extremely unlikely to change the overall outcome of the election, in which Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who garnered only about 1 percent of the vote, has said the recount campaign is not targeted at Trump or Clinton.

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Hillary's debate answer on delay: "That is horrifying. That is not the way our democracy works. Been around for 240 years. We've had free --
during a general election. I, for one, am appalled that somebody that is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind --
of position." Then, separately she stated, "He said something truly horrifying ... he refused to say that he would respect the results of --
this election. That is a direct threat to our democracy." She then said, "We have to accept the results and look to the future, Donald --
Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead." So much time and money will be spent - same result! Sad
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Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, said on Friday he had filed a lawsuit to halt the requested recount in his state.

Recounting all of the state's votes "threatens to silence all Michigan votes for president" because of an impending federal deadline to finalize the state's results, Schuette said in a statement.

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. Federal law requires states to resolve disputes over the appointment of electors by Dec. 13.

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Donald Trump's 'USA thank you' tour
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Donald Trump's 'USA thank you' tour
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump throws a cap to the audience as he speaks during a "Thank You USA" tour rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S., December 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar 
Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attend a USA Thank You Tour event at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attend a "Thank You USA" tour rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S., December 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attend a USA Thank You Tour event at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a rally as part of their "USA Thank You Tour 2016" in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 2016 . REUTERS/William Philpott
A protester walks out of the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence at a rally as part of their "USA Thank You Tour 2016" in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 2016 . REUTERS/William Philpott
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence hold a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 2016 as part of their "USA Thank You Tour 2016". REUTERS/William Philpott
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 2016 as part of their "USA Thank You Tour 2016". REUTERS/William Philpott
Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attend a USA Thank You Tour event at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 01: Guests listen as President-elect Donald Trump speaks at U.S. Bank Arena on December 1, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Trump took time off from selecting the cabinet for his incoming administration to celebrate his victory in the general election. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son speak to the press after meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a USA Thank You Tour event at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Supporters cheer for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at a USA Thank You Tour event at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Republican presidential then nominee Donald Trump and Ben Carson walk to Carson's childhood home in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/ File photo
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump greets members of the press at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
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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.

Schuette also criticized Stein for the potential expense of a recount, although she said last week that she had raised $3.5 million to cover some costs. A Schuette spokeswoman said on Friday that Stein had contributed $787,500 but that it would cost some $5 million.

The Trump campaign's own attorneys have moved to block recount efforts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to court papers in those states. A Pennsylvania court has scheduled a hearing for Monday morning in Harrisburg, the state capital.

In Wisconsin, where the recount is already underway, the Trump-supporting 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.

Stein's campaign manager, David Cobb, criticized the Trump effort in Pennsylvania in particular, saying in a statement: "We will continue to help Pennsylvania voters make sure that the election in Pennsylvania had integrity and that their votes counted."

Stein's website said on Friday the Green Party had raised $6.8 million so far for the recount and had a goal of $9.5 million.

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.

(Reporting by David Ingram in New York and Susan Heavey in Washington; Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry)


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