Jill Stein’s bid to recount votes in Pennsylvania was in trouble even before a federal judge shot it down Dec. 12. That’s because the Green Party candidate’s effort stood little chance of detecting potential fraud or error in the vote — there was basically nothing to recount. Pennsylvania is one of 11 states where the majority of voters use antiquated machines that store votes electronically, without printed ballots or other paper-based backups that could be used to double-check the balloting.
Presidential recounts are not about changing election results. At least, that is not their primary purpose. At their core, recounts are about ensuring confidence in the integrity of the voting system. It is unfortunate, if not all that surprising, that the two largest corporate-controlled political parties have chosen to stand in the way of these grassroots-demanded recounts—in the case of Republicans, actively blocking them in the courts; in the case of Democrats, capitulating in their refusal to push for them.
As the CIA digs deep to investigate foreign influence on our election, we should recognize that we don’t need cybersecurity experts to tell us if our votes have been accurately counted. Citizen observers can do the job, if we fix the way we vote and the way we verify those votes.
The recount effort by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in three U.S. states came to an end on Monday, after weeks of legal wrangling yielded only one electoral review in Wisconsin that favored Republican winner Donald Trump. A federal judge in Pennsylvania rejected Stein’s request for a recount and an examination of that state’s voting machines for evidence of hacking in the Nov. 8 election won by Trump.
Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, conceded Tuesday that her three-state vote recount drive was “stopped in its tracks,” but said she’d illuminated the need to shore up the security of balloting nationwide. “While the count may have stopped, the movement for a voting system we can trust has been enormously energized,” Stein told reporters on a conference call. Stein raised more than $7 million to seek recounts of the presidential vote in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. President-elect Donald Trump narrowly won those states.
It’s hard to believe the moment we all learned the presidential election would be recounted in Wisconsin. Thank goodness Wisconsin has paper ballots that can be physically counted again. Did you know that many of the voting machines in New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina produce a report of how the voting machines recorded the votes but there is no paper trail to allow you to count the ballots again if needed.
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign said on Saturday it would help with efforts to secure recounts in several states, even as the White House defended the declared results as “the will of the American people”. The campaign’s general counsel, Marc Elias, said in an online post that while it had found no evidence of sabotage, the campaign felt “an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton”.
You may have read at NYMag that I’ve been in discussions with the Clinton campaign about whether it might wish to seek recounts in critical states. That article, which includes somebody else’s description of my views, incorrectly describes the reasons manually checking ballots is an essential security safeguard (and includes some incorrect numbers, to boot). Let me set the record straight about what I and other leading election security experts have actually been saying to the campaign and everyone else who’s willing to listen.
The Obama administration said on Friday that despite Russian attempts to undermine the presidential election, it has concluded that the results “accurately reflect the will of the American people.” The statement came as liberal opponents of Donald J. Trump, some citing fears of vote hacking, are seeking recounts in three states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — where his margin of victory was extremely thin.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is calling for a recount in three key states — Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — and has launched an effort to raise money to pay for the recount.
“After a divisive and painful presidential race, in which foreign agents hacked into party databases, private email servers, and voter databases in certain states, many Americans are wondering if our election results are reliable,” Stein said in a statement on her campaign website.