Jill Stein is pushing ahead for ballot recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, now with the cooperation of the Clinton team. Even once the Green Party candidate files her last petition for recount in Michigan today, she will have a long road ahead of her when it comes to just how the recounts will be carried out in each state. Stein has raised more than $6 million to fund her efforts, which she and her team have already spent countless hours to raise. But how could a vote recount make Clinton win the election?
Stein has said that a Clinton victory is not her endgame here, but that she simply wants to "be sure we have a fair, secure and accurate voting system.” However, considering the small margins by which the Democratic Party nominee lost in the three recount states, shifting some electoral college votes to Clinton is the most likely change anyone can ask for. And, indeed, many see these recounts as the nation's last chance to depose President-elect Donald Trump and get Clinton into the White House. Such a turnaround, though, will require an unprecedented series of events to take place. More than 100,000 votes will have to be recounted in Clinton's favor in order for us to get a new president-elect. Let's take a look at what would need to happen state-by-state.
Today is the last day for Stein to file a petition for recount in the state of Michigan, where Trump was only declared the winner on Nov. 28. If the petition goes through on time, and is confirmed, the recount here could start as early as Friday. Winning Michigan would net Clinton 16 electoral votes, bringing her total up to 248 and Trump's down to 290. Clinton would be closer to a win, but alas, not close enough.
Stein filed a petition for recount in Pennsylvania in Nov. 28, and electors will need to come to a decision on the votes by Dec.13. Of the three recount states, Pennsylvania is where Clinton lost by the largest margin, 70,638 votes, and the most electoral votes, 20. In a Keystone State electoral vote reversal, Clinton would still lose at 252 to Trump's 286. Victory would still be Trump's, but it would be a substantial change nonetheless.
Recounts in the Badger State are expected to begin on Dec. 1, though Stein's lawsuit asking that all 2.98 million votes be recounted by hand may delay things. Trump won the state by 22,177 votes, a large number for Clinton to overcome. But if a Wisconsin recount does result in her winning, she would gain 10 electoral college votes, bringing her total up to 242 and Trump's down to 296.
Winning just one or two of these states is not enough to win Clinton the presidency, but winning all three is. The only problem? With all three states together, Clinton lost by about 103,519 votes. And many say that this number is just too many for a candidate to overcome. Despite Trump and Stein's claims, there is no evidence of voter fraud, especially not at this high of a level. If Clinton were to win these recounts, Trump's original win would belie a scale of fraud or voter hacking never seen before and could undermine the integrity of presidential elections past and to come.