by Countable | 11.30.16
On Friday, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested a recount in Wisconsin in order to verify that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton did indeed lose to Republican and President-Elect Donald Trump. Stein has planned to follow that up by requesting recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, though the latter would begin as only a partial recount at the local level.
The Clinton campaign announced later that it would join in the effort "to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides" despite their awareness that the margin of about 10,000 votes that separates Clinton and Trump in the closest state “well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount.” Trump blasted the recount effort on Twitter as a “Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts,” saying that “nothing will change” despite the time and money that will be expended.
Wisconsin will begin its recount this week with a completion date set for December 13, though a judge rejected Stein’s request for a hand count. Michigan’s deadline for filing for a recount is today and the Stein campaign intends to file such a request, while precinct level recounts in Pennsylvania can begin while courts consider Stein’s statewide request.
The recounts will need to completed quickly though, because federal law requires all states to complete recounts within 35 days of Election Day (December 13) in order to allow Electoral College voters to accurately cast their votes when they meet on December 19.
Both have said that they don't expect it to happen, but their ultimate hope would be to find that enough votes had been miscounted to change the outcome in the contested states, as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin that control enough votes in the Electoral College to flip the election to Clinton.
Beyond that, the recount is mainly just about ensuring that every legitimate vote gets its due and building confidence in the nation's election system. There had been concerns about widespread, undetected voter election fraud if an outside actor hacked voting machines and it went unnoticed. While the Stein and Clinton campaigns plus the White House have all agreed that there is no evidence that any cyber-tampering occurred, if fraud is found during recounts at the precinct level in Pennsylvania it could provide evidence that leads to a statewide recount there.
Also, while it’s very much a consolation prize, Clinton could see her lead in the nationwide popular vote grow from the more 2 million it’s at currently.
It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the recount could ultimately lead to a change in the election’s outcome, but it is very, very unlikely because Clinton has a lot of ground to make up to overtake her Republican rival. Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes, Pennsylvania by 70,638 votes, and Wisconsin by 27,257 votes.
Those margins are the biggest obstacle to those hoping for a change in the election result, because recounts historically haven’t changed the vote differential much. FiveThirtyEight analyzed 27 statewide recounts that occurred between 2000 and 2015, finding that the average change in the margin separating the top two candidates was only 282 votes. The largest swing occurred in the infamous Florida recount from the 2000 presidential election, but even then Al Gore only gained 1,247 votes on George W. Bush. Those facts underscore how unlikely it is that the recounts will change the outcome of the election.
States generally only pay for recounts when the result of an election is close enough to automatically trigger a recount based on the state’s laws. Given that none of the states Stein intends to request recounts in were close enough to trigger an automatic recount, the responsibility for financing a recount falls to the candidate that requests it.
That could prove costly, and the Clinton campaign is only paying for lawyers to oversee the process, so Stein has been fundraising to finance the actual recounts. At first, her campaign sought $2.5 million but then raised their goal to $7 million, of which donors have provided $6.5 million so far. Stein’s recount fundraising prowess is a bit ironic, as her presidential campaign raised only $3.5 million.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Paul Stein / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable
It's unlikely to make a difference in the outcome but that's because the real shenanigans wasn't vote hacking or miscounting. Rather, it was voter suppression efforts in key states targeted at minorities coupled with fake news and a flawed electoral college system. The recount is fine and I support it because it will help expose the lie Trump has been telling about inner cities cooking the books, but it won't address the real issue.
I would like to see the whole system verified. I think Americans need to be confident in our voting systems and nothing is wrong with verification with all parties present.
Your precious taxpayer money didn't pay for this - Jill Stein crowdfunded the fees necessary for filing for a recount. $2.5 million was needed, and people donated at least $5 million to the cause. If any taxpayer money is used during recount efforts, that's part of what taxes should pay for anyway: ensuring our voting system isn't fraudulent.
I still think voter ID needs to be a requirement. No ID, no vote.
It will not change the reality that a frighteningly large share of the electorate demonstrably lacks basic critical thinking ability. But a 'do-over' couldn't hurt.
The recount also warns anyone thinking about trying something fraudulent in the future that they may be caught in the act. It is noteworthy that Wisconsin had to remove 5000 votes for Trump that 4 different counties had mysteriously all added to Trump 'by error'. This sort of carelessness or blatant fraud - whichever it was - can not be tolerated!!!!
With all of the influence of Wikileaks and the Russians and evidence that the Trump campaign exerted unfair influence on voters at the voting sites, let's double check. Jill Stein raised the money from private citizens like me. Frankly, I think every election should be audited. What are you people afraid of? The truth?
Recounts seldom, if ever, change the outcome. We should use this effort to validate, or expose fraudulent votes. Here is the opportunity to resolve the fraudulent vote question. This will require outside agencies to oversee, or, at least, monitor the recount. The people that might have sanctioned, or ignored, voter fraud cannot be trusted to expose their own errors, or misdeeds.
It's not your taxes paying for it. Jill Stein crowdfunded the money herself so please stop spreading false rumors.
This article is false - both Stein and Clinton have stated that they don't expect/aren't trying to change the outcome of the election. Stein states so on her website, and Clinton herself already conceded the election.
As far as I know, no tax dollars are used. Stein raised the money herself ($7 mil+) Please read the facts.
Great, by all means we should always be scrutinizing the system and asking for greater transparency. Good on you Stein!
Stein is raising money and getting national exposure. It's what politicians do, prepare for the next election. She is wisely cashing in on the hopes of angry liberals.
They can do nothing about the voting. It's a done deal. The left is just sore losers. They are doing just what they hounded trump about when he would let them know after the election. But according to Hillary the system is right and true!!!
Sure, do a recount. The U.S. spends a lot of our tax dollars on so many foolish things. What have we got to lose here? OR, is someone afraid of the results?
If a recount proves to be in Hillary's favor, then there is only one just and fair thing to do! One thing is for sure... This recount should work to insure that all votes count and enable oversight into preventing election glitches in the future.
Quit your boohooing. Is it going to change anything? Probably not. But what it will do, is restore some faith back in the voting system and ensure there is no evidence of tampering or Russian hacks on voting machines. It doesn't hurt anything. And the money was fundraised . It's not taxpayer dollars. Also there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. There never has been. Voter suppression is a thing. Strict id laws presented problems for lower income citizens. Also gerrymandering by the republicans, which is currently under investigation.
NEIL - you didn't read the article. No taxpayer $ is paying for recount. Steins money is.
What a waste of resources.
Waste of time, money, etc. And until this lunatic pays, no recounts, otherwise those are my taxes.