These Vote Recount Updates Reveal That Pennsylvania May Prove Most Difficult
After just a few short days of fundraising, the Green Party candidate for president, Jill Stein, has filed for a recount in the state of Wisconsin — and she promises not to stop there. Not only that, the Clinton campaign has officially gotten involved, to "ensure that it is fair to all sides," according to the team's chief counsel Marc Elias. Clinton lawyers will be present during the vote count when the recount begins. These Jill Stein election recount updates are just the beginning of the story given the chance, however small, that it could change the outcome of the race.
The first has to do with Pennsylvania, one of the three states in which Stein promised to fight for a recount. Unlike in Wisconsin, where she already filed on Monday, Pennsylvania law does not allow candidates to file a direct request with the state. They can go through a legal process or use a voter-initiated process. They've opted for the latter. Thus they're trying to find voters across the state — at least three in each district — to go file for a recount. It's a tall order and it has to happen perhaps as soon as Monday.
The other biggest update, of course, is that the Clinton campaign is going to participate. Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump to concede on election night, and the next day gave a speech acknowledging the need of a peaceful transfer of power, so there hasn't been much speculation that she would ask for recounts. Now that Stein has decided to do so, however, they will join in. But the Clinton campaign isn't paying for the recounts now, or asking for them — it's just paying its lawyers to be present while it happens. Here's why, according to Elias' post on Medium:
Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.
He reiterated a few times that the Clinton campaign found no evidence of hacking according to experts both inside and outside of the campaign. He also acknowledged that there has never been any recount that has reversed the lead currently enjoyed by Trump. In the key states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Clinton is behind Trump by around 100,000 votes total, a number that Elias says would be quite difficult to overcome — unheard of in a recount.
Trump, of course, isn't pleased by this latest development — he is the latest update in the drama. Despite the near certainty that he will win these three states regardless, he has taken to Twitter to blast both Stein and Clinton and the entire recount process, while at the same time making allegations of voter fraud. A Trump transition team statement released Saturday called the recount "a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded," and declared that the results shouldn't be "challenged and abused."
But that was nothing compared to what he said on Twitter early Sunday. First he adamantly declared that nothing would change, noting that Clinton already conceded (although concessions are not technically binding). Then he dropped this bombshell: "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." That's extremely hard to believe and intentionally sows doubt in our system — something no candidate should be doing.
Now Wisconsin needs to start the recount: they're going to tell Stein just how much she needs to pay and then it will begin. It must be finished by Dec. 13, when the electoral college appointments must be finalized. Until then, there may be some doubt hanging over the election results.