In the desperate, emotional haze that's gripped much of the country over the past month, many people have clung to the idea of changing the results of the Nov. 8 election. One woman led a strong and hopeful campaign of making that happen, but in the weeks since Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein initiated her recount efforts, setback after setback has dimmed that light in the darkness. The most recent election recount updates pretty much completely eliminate any possibility of preventing Donald Trump from becoming the presidency by overturning the election, so if that's still your goal, it's time to look at other options.
The current status of the recounts does not look good for any who were still hoping that Clinton actually won the Electoral College. Michigan and Pennsylvania recount efforts were pretty much dead in the water already, and though a federal court judge in Wisconsin Friday refused to halt the recount, he also said that it was not ultimately going to matter. U.S. District Judge James Peterson ruled Friday morning that the recount would proceed to completion, but the results showed only marginal changes in the outcome. According to ABC News, 82 percent of the votes had been counted already, and Clinton had only gained about 60 votes. "The relief you're asking for is so clearly unwarranted," Peterson said during the hearing Friday morning. "The recount looks like it's going smoothly and competently. It's not going to have any impact on whether the Electoral College meets or who takes office."
Realistically, the judge's ruling in the hearing doesn't even matter. To overturn the results of the election, Clinton needs all three states to shift their popular vote, which was a huge long shot even before the courts intervened to contest the recount. Even if Stein could get all three recounts back off the ground today, there's little to no way they would be completed before the Dec. 13 federal deadline. Though Stein was pushing an ideological agenda of double certification and absolute assurance in the election, her seemingly ulterior motive of overturning the results of the election didn't ever stand much of a chance in this format.
If you're still invested in trying to stop Trump from getting to the White House in January, your efforts are best concentrated on a different technique. Your last best hope is probably the Hamilton Electors, an organization that's attempting to lobby members of the Electoral College to vote against Trump and potentially send the decision to the House of Representatives. As of right now, there are reportedly seven electors who are planning to defect from their state's popular vote and cast their ballot for an alternative Republican candidate.
The recount was an interesting and timely political scenario that revealed a lot about the American electoral system. The accessibility of digital technology should make election results easily reviewable and available to public scrutiny, but it also puts the country at risk for hacking and further distrust in the process. Though it's over in all but name, there were some real results that came from the recount efforts, but implementing changes to address the uncovered issues will be a whole other problem.