During the campaign, Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, was hardly mentioned. Her supporters might say it was a conspiracy, but the truth is that no Green candidate has received many votes. But Stein is making headlines now—with a fundraising campaign to require a recount of the “rustbelt” states—Pennsylvania (20), Wisconsin(10), and Michigan (16). If she could flip those three states, Donald Trump’s electoral vote total would drop from an estimated 306 to just to 260, ten short of a win.
How close were these states? Unofficial totals showed a difference of 68,236 for Pennsylvania, 27,257 for Wisconsin, and only 11, 612 for Michigan. That’s a total of 107,105 out of 134,421,870, or just 8/100 of 1% of the total vote. Stein thinks that’s too close, irrespective of the total popular vote, which went decisively for Hillary Clinton.
But in her press release, Stein said it wasn’t about Trump or Clinton. It was about election integrity, which was one of the buzzwords in the Trump campaign.
Today, the Stein/Baraka campaign announced their intent to file for a recount of votes in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, leading a multi-partisan effort to check the accuracy of the machine-counted vote tallies in these states in order to ensure the integrity of our elections.
Jill Stein observed, “After a divisive and painful presidential race, 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.”
In an election surrounded by hacks, the use of systems that have been demonstrated to be easily hacked should concern every American. Some of the machines used in Wisconsin, have been banned in California after they were shown to be highly vulnerable to hacking and malicious reprogramming, due to the lack of security features. Leading election security experts have been calling for exactly this sort of recount as a critical safeguard against cyberattacks.
Fox News reported that Stein has drawn more money for the recount than she received for her campaign before the election.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein hauled in $4.8 million to help finance recount efforts in three states, a figure that eclipsed the fundraising total for her entire presidential campaign. . .
Stein’s campaign said that amount would be needed to meet Wisconsin’s Nov. 25 deadline and $1.1 million filing fee. But it was soon clear that goal would easily be met. . .
By Friday morning, the fundraising effort was nearing $5 million, a figure that exceeded the $3,509,477 reported on Stein’s final October 19 campaign finance report.
Stein has enough to cover the $1.1 million fee to file before the Friday afternoon deadline to file recount in Wisconsin. Under Wisconsin law, Stein must also show cause for a recount to take place.
Wisconsin GOP Executive Director Mark Morgan issued a statement Friday calling Stein’s decision to seek a recount “absurd” and “nothing more than an expensive political stunt that undermines the election process.” . . .
The initial fuel flaming the recount fire was set by blogger Greg Palast, who claimed in a November 11 post that the election was stolen by Trump.
Palast is a best selling book author and freelance journalist for the BBC and Guardian newspaper. Fox directs to an article about the Palast post, which claims that Trump partisans worked to purge voters from the vote list. For instance, Trump supporters sent letters to Democratic voters, and if the letter came back (“moved”), those voters were automatically removed from the rolls.
Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states.. . .
On Tuesday, we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and as President, Donald Trump. The electoral putsch was aided by nine other methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters, methods detailed in my book and film, including “Caging,” “purging,” blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to “provisional” ballots that will never be counted. . .
But three times in US history, pollsters have had to publicly flagellate themselves for their “errors.” In 2000, exit polls gave Al Gore the win in Florida; in 2004, exit polls gave Kerry the win in Ohio, and now, in swing states, exit polls gave the presidency to Hillary Clinton.
So how could these multi-million-dollar Ph.d-directed statisticians with decades of experience get exit polls so wrong?
Answer: they didn’t. The polls in Florida in 2000 were accurate. That’s because exit pollsters can only ask, “How did you vote?” What they don’t ask, and can’t, is, “Was your vote counted.”
Fox News also directed us to a Washington Post story about the recount effort. Stein notes that a recount might not prove anything in Pennsylvania, since they have no paper trail. An error (or cheat) would not be discovered by recounting the same error or cheat.
If the election were hacked, a recount couldn’t prove it. Most of Pennsylvania voters use DRE (direct record electronic) machines, with no paper ballot whatsoever. In other races where those machines have been probed — like Virginia’s 2005 attorney general contest — the recount has consisted of the machine results simply being scanned again. The lost/spoiled votes Palast has talked about are not part of that system. (Meanwhile, nearly every Michigan vote has a paper record.)
Meanwhile, Stein says she’s not trying to elect Hillary, whom she has called, “more dangerous” than Trump. In fact, Stein says the fact that Democrats are not fighting for themselves is proof that they’re as corrupt as the Republicans.
Stein has also used the fact that Democrats won’t push for recounts as evidence that the party is corrupt. On RT, she scoffed that “you’d think that the Democratic candidate, who has more skin in the game here, would be more involved.” According to Palast, Stein told him that “Democrats do not act to protect the vote even when there is dramatic evidence of tampering.”
And, finally, George Takai (Sulu from the original Star Trek) says that Republicans have no right to complain about Stein’s recount, since they are pushing their own recount, to support Governor McCrory in South Carolina.
The GOP can’t applaud McCrory for demanding a recount in NC while condemning Jill Stein’s recount efforts in WI, MI and PA. #AuditTheVote
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 24, 2016
It is true that Democrats are not supporting the recount effort. After all, Stein took more likely Hillary votes than she would have needed to win those three states.
More Clinton fans see this as a waste of time — at best. Someone was going to tap into mounting liberal anger that — for the second time this century — a Democrat has lost the presidency while winning the popular vote. But Democrats can’t believe that the someone was Stein. In all three of the contested states, Stein campaigned for votes; in Michigan and Wisconsin, her total was greater than the gap between Clinton and Trump.
So. . .for all of us who are glad that the election is over. Ummm, it’s not.