Michigan ballot recount begins

Rows of ballot boxes from Ingham County containing wait to be opened and recounted.

Rows of ballot boxes from Ingham County containing wait to be opened and recounted.

The statewide recount of ballots cast in the presidential election is underway. That’s after a federal judge ruled overnight the state had until noon Monday to begin.

The first recounts are in Oakland and Ingham counties, with more joining as the week goes on. Elections officials hope to have the recount wrapped up in a week.

Shortly after noon at a hall in the Ingham County Fairgrounds, seals on ballot boxes were cut, and recount volunteers started sorting and counting under the watchful eye of observers named by presidential campaigns.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum says her office has been preparing for weeks.

“It’s going well. I’m looking forward to this Band-Aid being ripped off and it being over.”

Efforts to block the recount by Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign also continue. Republicans say the recount request from Green Party nominee Jill Stein is frivolous.