If Jill Stein, and Democrats, had their way this election would have turned out very, very differently. Instead, the party is left chasing dreams of a recount leading to a surprise Clinton victory in 3 states, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The rules for recounts in all 3 states vary. Wisconsin law automatically calls for a recount only if the vote count is less than .25 percent. Since Jill Stein lost by more than the required .25 percent she must pay for the costs of a recount. Michigan and Pennsylvania only conduct recounts at taxpayer expense if a campaign presents evidence of voter fraud or proof of some sort of malfeasance.
Enter conspiracy theorists stage left. Well, not exactly conspiracy theorists. Rather, a group of election lawyers and computer scientists. According to a Tuesday report from New York Magazine, this group approached the Clinton camp with evidence they believe suggests the Electoral College was rigged towards Donald Trump due to hacking.
The article reports that a group that includes voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and computer scientist J. Alex Halderman presented findings last week about Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to top Clinton campaign officials to try to persuade them to call for a recount. Until Saturday it appeared the Clinton camp was unwilling to participate in the recounts. However, they are now backing Stein’s recount efforts in Wisconsin.
Interestingly enough, the NYM article cites just one example of voter fraud even possibly occurring. Wisconsin counties that used electronic voting machines favored Trump more than non-electronic voting machine counties. As of this writing there is no clear indication of what the group is using to validate a recount in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
But in a Medium post on Wednesday, Halderman said the New York article “includes some incorrect numbers” and misrepresented his argument for recounts. According to Halderman, he laid out an argument based not on any specific suspicious vote counts but on evidence that voting machines could be hacked, and that using paper ballots as a reference point could help determine if there were hacks. Well, while we are indulging coulds…
Considering this, we are forced to wonder what could drive a recount. Michigan uses paper ballots read by an optical scanner (like my home state of Idaho’s Ada County) so that crosses them off the list. The machines are never connected to the Internet at any time.
That left only a few states that fit the criteria for qualifying for a recount and being worth examining for a vote discrepancy based on type of voting method used.
The data magicians at FiveThirtyEight were kind enough to oblige and examined Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. These states were all decided by less than 10 points and had a mix of electronic and paper voting.
The findings were less than spectacular for those who allege ballot fraud occurred. Only 2 states, TX and Wisconsin showed any significant effect. In Wisconsin, counties that used electronic voting favored Trump by 5.6 percent more than non-electronic voting counties. In Texas, counties that used electronic voting methods actually favored Clinton by 2.7 percent. However, when weighted by population the effects disappear.
Nevertheless, calls for recounts due to conspiracy theories and “democracy being stolen” abound. And, by no means, are these theories only floating around Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Just look at this gem. Here you have it folks, proof the election was rigged. Nevermind the results had not been finalized meaning the tally was unofficial. Likewise, this same “report” has alleged that Florida impossibly went for Trump on election day. Making it worse, Trump won all his close states by “close margins.” Stop the presses. Trump stole the election.
This is just 1. I could probably find 10 more from supposedly “reputable” sources. The simple fact is there is not a shred of evidence the election was stolen from Clinton. If it was, don’t you think the Trump campaign would want to win the popular vote too? If they could change dozens of machines in at least 4 states why could they not pull it off and pad his margins in redder than red states like Texas? What would it hurt to win Texas like Romney instead of by a mere 9 points?
Without a shred of evidence Democrats are left to rely on Jill Stein and a “group” of experts to show fraud occurred where there is no evidence it did. Good luck with that.