Green Party’s US presidential candidate seeks swing state recounts

Just 55,000 Trump votes shifting to Clinton would reportedly deliver the Democratic contender an Electoral College majority – and the White House.
Green Party US Presidential candidate Jill Stein

The Green Party’s US presidential candidate, Jill Stein, is preparing to file for election recounts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – two swing states won by President-elect Donald Trump – and Michigan, where a result has not yet been declared.

Reportedly, a total of just 55,000 Trump votes shifting to Hillary Clinton in those states would deliver the Democratic candidate an Electoral College majority – and the White House (with the final vote tally still to come in, Hillary Clinton is on track to win the nationwide ballot by around 2 million votes. However, only the state-by-state Electoral College results matter in the race for the White House).

In a statement, Ms Stein said she intends to seek the recounts because “reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many American to wonder if our election results are reliable … These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified. We deserve elections we can trust.”

Ms Stein’s campaign has launched a fundraising page to stump up $US2.5 million by 4pm Friday, US time, in order to ensure the recounts.

There’s a Friday deadline for filing a recount request in Wisconsin (where Mr Trump’s winning margin is 0.7%); in Pennsylvania (where the President-elect’s margin is 1.2%) the deadline is Monday; in Michigan (where Mr Trump’s lead is currently 0.3%), it’s Wednesday.

The announcement of the recount bid follows groups of academics and activists – concerned about the possibility that foreign hackers had interfered with election systems – urging such a move.

The Clinton camp and senior hierarchy of the Democratic Party are reportedly reluctant to get involved, given the way Ms Clinton’s campaign criticised Mr Trump for claiming that the election would be “rigged” against him.

Underpinning the recount bid are publicly released US intelligence assessments that Russian hackers had stolen emails from Democratic officials prior to the election and were behind intrusions into regional electoral computer systems.

Concern about the Wisconsin result has focused on the reportedly disproportionate wins Mr Trump enjoyed in counties using electronic voting, versus those employing paper ballots.

Based on “some very quick analysis,” polling expert Nate Silver has, however, suggested such concerns are “probably BS.”

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