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Mich. vote tally may change, but outcome will hold

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 11/15/2016 Kathleen Gray
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage before speaking to a crowd during a rally at the Macomb Community College Sports & Expo Center in Warren on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. © Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage before speaking to a crowd during a rally at the Macomb Community College Sports & Expo Center in Warren on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.

DETROIT — As of Monday afternoon, President-elect Donald Trump was winning Michigan by a razor thin 13,107 votes out of 4,785,223 votes cast, according to the Michigan secretary of State.

But those are not the official results of the Nov. 8 election.

The state’s 83 counties have until Nov. 22 to certify their election results. And the state Board of Canvassers meets on Nov. 28 to make the unofficial official.

The results could change, said the state’s director of elections Chris Thomas. But it is highly unlikely that it will be enough to change the outcome of the race.

“I looked at the 2012 results and the presidential race changed by 113 votes for the candidates of the political parties,” he said. “And there were 7,900 write-in votes, but that doesn’t change the election outcome.”

He also noted that one Detroit precinct wasn’t counted until Wednesday afternoon because of a technical glitch, and those totals aren’t included in the current state totals.

But that only represented about 400 votes, said Jina Sawani, spokeswoman for Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett.

“It didn’t change any results,” Sawani said.

This year, there were seven write-in candidates for president who registered with the state and whose votes will be counted. But those votes aren’t reflected yet on the secretary of State’s website.

In Wayne and Oakland counties, 6,518 people wrote in someone other than the presidential candidates shown on the ballot and the canvass of each county’s vote totals will detail those write-in results.

Given that both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton each received more than 2.2 million votes, the write-in tally won’t change the final outcome either.

The secretary of State hasn’t officially “called” the race for Trump. That’s not their role, Thomas said, because they let the results speak for themselves.

But the Associated Press, the news wire service that many publications rely on for official results, hasn't called the presidential race in Michigan or New Hampshire. Officials with the wire service didn’t return phone calls to the Detroit Free Press, but have said that if a recount remains a possibility, they won’t officially call the race.

A recount is automatically triggered in Michigan if the difference between two statewide candidates is 2,000 votes or less. A candidate can request a recount if the margin is greater than 2,000 votes, but must pay $25 per precinct, or $125 per precinct if the difference between the candidates is more than 50 votes.

The Electoral College will meet Dec. 19 to cast votes for the winner of the presidential race.

Follow Kathleen Gray on Twitter: @michpoligal

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