Jill Stein never had a chance of becoming president so there's no need to continue the recount she requested in Michigan, a federal judge decided Wednesday. US District Judge Mark Goldsmith sided with the Michigan Court of Appeal's ruling that the Green Party candidate, who received around 1% of the vote, doesn't qualify as an "aggrieved candidate" for recount purposes, reports the Detroit Free Press. Goldsmith, agreeing with the state GOP, also said there was no evidence of hacking or other tampering with a state voting system so secure that "Gremlins, Martians, or Russian hackers" couldn't mess with it. He said he suspects the recount law's makers intended to "confine costly and disruptive recounts to cases where a losing candidate stood a reasonable chance of changing the outcome."
Stein's lawyers vowed to appeal the "deeply disappointing" ruling. "Backed by Michigan Republicans, Donald Trump—who himself has repeatedly alleged widespread voter fraud and a 'rigged election'—suddenly sees no need for a routine verification of the democratic process in Michigan," they said in a statement. "His efforts to suppress the vote count is a stunning about-face, even by Trump's own standards." Trump was declared the winner by a margin of 10,704 out of almost 4.8 million votes, and Stein's lawyers say they want to look into issues including 75,000 ballots with no presidential votes, which is almost twice as many as in 2012. The AP notes that with the Dec. 13 federal deadline for states to verify their election results looming, Goldsmith's ruling effectively ensures that Trump's Michigan win will stand. (Read more Election 2016 stories.)