For a few days now, 2016 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has seized the attention of many progressives through an unexpected and startling effort: she's been crowdfunding recounts in three states that swung the election, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. And with the recount petition already filed in Wisconsin, and Michigan and Pennsylvania's deadlines coming up next week, it's dominating a fair amount of attention. Which is probably why the President-elect has finally weighed in: if you're wondering what Donald Trump thinks of Jill Stein's recount, he's put out an official statement.
Stein, for her part, is still fundraising and signaling her intention to move forward with the Michigan and Pennsylvania recounts. Any path forward in Pennsylvania would be more complicated, however, as it would reportedly require a court challenge to the state's results by a deadline of Monday, November 28th.
As for Trump's response, well, the title kind of gives it away: "Statement From President-Elect Donald J. Trump on the Ridiculous Green Party Recount Request." In it, Trump cites Clinton's concession to him on election night, the need to "look forward," his 306 electoral vote majority, and his nearly 70,000 vote lead in Pennsylvania, and further calls the effort "a scam by the Green Party."
The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, 'We must accept this result and then look to the future.' It is important to point out that with the help of millions of voters across the country, we won 306 electoral votes on Election Day - the most of any Republican since 1988 – and we carried nine of 13 battleground states, 30 of 50 states, and more than 2,600 counties nationwide - the most since President Ronald Reagan in 1984.This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount. All three states were won by large numbers of voters, especially Pennsylvania, which was won by more than 70,000 votes. This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing.
Just one day following Stein's successful recount filing in Wisconsin, a lawyer for the Clinton campaign informed the Washington Post that representatives from the campaign would be participating in the Stein recount to oversee the process. The lawyer, Marc Elias, did however acknowledge that the campaign has found no "actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology." That's an important point for progressives to keep in mind right now ― there's been no empirical demonstration that anything is amiss with the voting results in these three states.
And even if there were a pretty major swing in the course of a recount, with Trump tens of thousands of votes ahead in Pennsylvania, it's pretty much a pipe dream. In other words, you should try not to get disappointed and heartbroken all over again, because the only truly foreseeable reality right now is that Trump will be inaugurated in January. And if you're a politically motivated person, there are plenty of things you should do to start preparing yourself for that inevitability.