Clin­ton cam­paign to par­tic­i­pate in bal­lot re­count


Tri­bune Washington Bureau

— Hil­lary Clin­ton’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign will par­tic­i­pate in an ef­fort led by Green Party can­di­date Jill Stein to re­count bal­lots in Wis­con­sin and per­haps two other bat­tle­ground states that were cru­cial to Don­ald Trump’s vic­tory, a Clin­ton cam­paign lawyer said Satur­day.

In re­sponse, Trump called the re­count re­quest “ridicu­lous” and a “scam” de­signed to raise money for Stein’s po­lit­i­cal party.

In a blog post, Clin­ton lawyer Marc Elias said her team had not planned to par­tic­i­pate in a re­count, not­ing that in­quiries over the last two weeks had not “un­cov­ered any ac­tion­able ev­i­dence of hack­ing or out­side at­tempts to al­ter the vot­ing tech­nol­ogy” that af­fected the fi­nal tally in Wis­con­sin, Michi­gan or Penn­syl­va­nia.

Elias down­played any no­tion that a re­count would change the re­sults, not­ing that the num­ber of votes sep­a­rat­ing Trump and Clin­ton in Michi­gan _ the clos­est of the three states _ vastly ex­ceeds the largest mar­gin ever over­come in a statewide re­count.

Pre- elec­tion polls had shown Clin­ton lead­ing in all three states. Trump won them by a com­bined mar­gin of 107,000 votes.

“But re­gard­less of the po­ten­tial to change the out­come in any of the states, we feel it is im­por­tant, on prin­ci­ple, to en­sure our cam­paign is legally rep­re­sented in any court pro­ceed­ings and rep­re­sented on the ground in or­der to mon­i­tor the re­count process it­self,” he wrote.

In his state­ment, Trump aimed his fire at Stein, not Clin­ton.

“This count is just a way for Jill Stein, who re­ceived less than one per­cent of the vote over­all and wasn’t even on the bal­lot in many states, to fill her cof­fers with money, most of which she will never even spend


on this ridicu­lous re­count,” Trump said.

Stein, in fact, re­ceived at least 1 per­cent of the over­all vote. She was on the bal­lot in 44 states and the District of Columbia and was el­i­gi­ble as a write- in can­di­date in three other states.

Trump con­tin­ued: “This is a scam by the Green Party for an elec­tion that has al­ready been con­ceded, and the re­sults of this elec­tion should be re­spected in­stead of be­ing chal­lenged and abused, which is ex­actly what Jill Stein is do­ing.”

Elias said that the Clin­ton cam­paign had “qui­etly taken a num­ber of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any pos­si­bil­ity of out­side in­ter­fer­ence” and that oth­ers have “ex­pended time and ef­fort to in­ves­ti­gate var­i­ous claims of ab­nor­mal­i­ties and ir- reg­u­lar­i­ties.”

“While that ef­fort has not, in our view, re­sulted in ev­i­dence of ma­nip­u­la­tion of re­sults, now that a re­count is un­der­way, we be­lieve we have an obli­ga­tion to the more than 64 mil­lion Amer­i­cans who cast bal­lots for Hil­lary Clin­ton to par­tic­i­pate in on­go­ing pro­ceed­ings to en­sure that an ac­cu­rate vote count will be re­ported,” Elias said.

Stein filed for a re­count in Wis­con­sin on Fri­day. The fil­ing dead­line for a re­count has passed in Penn­syl­va­nia, so she will have to chal­lenge that state’s re­sults in court to pro­ceed. In Michi­gan, Stein has to wait un­til Mon­day for the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the re­sults.

“If Jill Stein fol­lows through as she has promised and pur­sues re­counts in Penn­syl­va­nia and Michi­gan, we will take the same ap­proach in those states as well,” Elias said in the blog post.

On Fri­day, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion said in a state­ment that it was “con­fi­dent in the over­all in­tegrity of elec­toral in­fra­struc­ture” and it de­fended the in­tegrity of the elec­tion re­sults as rep­re­sent­ing the will of the Amer­i­can peo­ple.

Although the ad­min­is­tra­tion warned in early Oc­to­ber that Rus­sian hack­ers were seek­ing to in­ter­fere with the cam­paign by leak­ing emails stolen from Demo­cratic Party lead­ers and Clin­ton’s aides, the White House said Fri­day that “we be­lieve our elec­tions were free and fair from a cy­ber­se­cu­rity per­spec­tive.”

Dur­ing the cam­paign, Clin­ton sharply crit­i­cized Trump for re­fus­ing to say he would ac­cept the elec­tion re­sults if she won. She con­ceded her loss to Trump hours af­ter polls had closed on Elec­tion Day and con­grat­u­lated him.

As of Satur­day af­ter­noon, Stein’s fundrais­ing drive had brought in about $ 5.8 mil­lion to sup­port the cost of the re­counts, with a goal of $ 7 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to her web­site.


Hil­lary Clin­ton’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign will par­tic­i­pate in an ef­fort to re­count bal­lots in Wis­con­sin and per­haps two other bat­tle­ground states that were cru­cial to Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion win.

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