What Happens If Donald Trump Loses The Vote Recounts? The President-Elect Loves Blaming Voter Fraud
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is currently involved in an effort to recount presidential election votes in a handful of crucial states. The probability of a reversal in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton is low, but the question remains, what will happen if President-elect Donald Trump loses the vote recount?
So far in U.S. history, a vote recount has never changed the outcome of a presidential election. So if Clinton manages to pull off a narrow Electoral College win, it will be a situation the country has never been in before. Even in state and local elections, only three out of 27 vote recounts since 2000 have led to a change in victor. (Each time, a Democrat picked up the win.)
Additionally, the federal government has set a deadline of Dec. 13 for the votes to be recounted, due to a law that requires states to finish recounts after no more than 35 days after the election. If states don't finish by that point, they risk losing their votes for president. But the final deadline for vote recounts is Dec. 19, when all states' electors finally cast their Electoral Votes.
To defeat Trump, Clinton would have to win Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Trump leads by 10,704 votes in Michigan, 70,638 votes in Pennsylvania, and 22,177 votes in Wisconsin, according to USA Today. Though the president-elect's lead over Clinton is not particularly large in these three states, the possibility of Clinton pulling off a three-state reversal is still slim.
Another end result also exists: neither candidate winning. This could happen if states fail to file their recounted election results by Dec. 13 or Dec. 19, thus canceling some of Trump's electoral votes (though Clinton wouldn't gain any either). If this stalemate occurs and neither Trump nor Clinton reaches the 270 electoral votes required to win the Electoral College, then the outcome of the presidential election will be determined by the House of Representatives, according to the Twelfth Amendment.
Keeping in mind that a vote reversal of this proportion is unprecedented, a Trump loss could cause major problems. Trump has frequently claimed via Twitter that the election was riddled with voter fraud, and he may not accept the results of a recount. Additionally, he's been involved in the transition of power, and if Clinton were elected instead, she would have lost weeks of decision-making time. We'll have to wait for December to see how this all turns out, but no matter what, it will be messy.