Snowball's chance

Nov 20, 2002 at 12:00 am

News Hits wishes Gary Peters luck. But we’re not holding our booze-besotted breath.

Peters has refused to concede the state attorney general’s race to his Republican opponent, Mike Cox. With about 3 million ballots cast, Peters is behind Cox by about 6,000 votes, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Peters will decide whether he’ll request an official recount after Nov. 25, when the State Board of Canvassers officially certifies the election. The state is required to hold a recount if the margin is 2,000 votes or less.

“What’s happening is the 83 county boards of canvassers are poring over the vote results and totals and auditing them,” says Mark Fisk, Peters’ press secretary. “Some counties are done with that process.”

Fisk says that the voting tallies are changing each day as errors are found. “In a Dearborn precinct, a ‘3’ was left off Peters’ vote total, changing it from 396 to 96,” he says.

But the chances of Peters winning are slim, says Bill Ballenger, Inside Michigan Politics editor.

“I think he is hoping for some miraculous shift in the numbers. So far there isn’t any evidence that that is in the cards,” says Ballenger.

An interesting side note lost in all the recount hoopla is this: Peters likely would have trounced Cox were it not for the Green Party.

“I think the Green Party cost Peters the election,” Ballenger says.

In fact, GP candidate Jerry Kaufman received 47,851 votes. “It stands to reason that the vast majority would have went to Peters,” Ballenger says of Kaufman’s votes.

What’s ironic is that the state’s major environmental groups — Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters and Clean Water Action — endorsed Peters, not Kaufman.

Fisk agrees that the Green Party is to blame for taking votes from Peters. “I think during this election we were reminded of what Green really stands for: Get Republicans Elected Each November,” says Fisk.

But Green Party state chairman Marc Reichardt was unapologetic, saying that the Democrats have only themselves to blame.

“Some vote for us because they think we are doing a better job than the Democrats,” says Reichardt. “That’s why it’s called a democracy.”

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