Trump foes fight states’ pres­i­den­tial vote re­sults

De­mand an­other look as Michi­gan cer­ti­fies out­come

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY STEPHEN DI­NAN

Michi­gan elec­tions of­fi­cials cer­ti­fied last Mon­day that Don­ald Trump did win the state on Nov. 8, giv­ing him a pro­jected 306-232 win in the Elec­toral Col­lege — but his op­po­nents are still try­ing to wrench the vic­tory away from him, rais­ing mil­lions of dol­lars to force re­counts in enough states to swipe the race.

Wis­con­sin be­gan its re­count on this same day, prod­ded by Green Party can­di­date Jill Stein, though the state’s elec­tion com­mis­sion in­sisted they got it right and Mr. Trump will re­main the win­ner.

Ms. Stein also said she would de­mand a re­count in Michi­gan, and filed a law­suit beg­ging a judge to or­der an au­dit in Penn­syl­va­nia.

“Af­ter a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion tar­nished by the use of out­dated and un­re­li­able ma­chines and ac­cu­sa­tions of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and hacks, peo­ple of all po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sions are ask­ing if our elec­tion re­sults are re­li­able,” Ms. Stein said in a state­ment. “We must re­count the votes so we can build trust in our elec­tion sys­tem.”

She hasn’t pointed to spe­cific ev­i­dence of fraud in the three states, in­stead bas­ing her de­mands on pre-elec­tion fears of hack­ing and a dis­par­ity be­tween opin­ion polls and the fi­nal re­sults.

Trump sup­port­ers were peeved, say­ing the re­counts are an un­seemly at­tempt to dam­age Mr. Trump as he pre­pares to claim the White House.

If Wis­con­sin, Penn­syl­va­nia and Michi­gan re­sults were all over­turned, Mrs. Clin­ton would win the White House — though of­fi­cials in each state doubted that was go­ing to hap­pen.

Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walker said Mr. Trump’s 22,000-vote vic­tory in his state — about 1 per­cent of the votes cast — was enough to with­stand any re­count.

“WI’s elec­toral process is fair & pro­tected,” the gover­nor said in a Twit­ter post. “Are #Re­count2016 sup­port­ers re­ally that sur­prised how ru­ral Wis­con­sin voted?”

Mark Wis­con­sin’s elec­tions com­mis­sion and a Demo­crat, bat­ted away ac­cu­sa­tions of fraud or hack­ing, and said the re­count there will con­firm Mr. Trump won.

“I don’t ex­pect that the out­come will be quan­ti­ta­tively dif­fer­ent,” he said as he and his fel­low board mem­bers an­nounced re­count pro­ce­dures. They said lo­cal­i­ties can de­cide how to con­duct their re­counts — a vic­tory for Mr. Trump, since it means a full hand re­count isn’t re­quired.

In Michi­gan the re­sults had been con­tested since elec­tion night, when Mr. Trump held a slim lead. The state’s can­vass­ing board said he did, in fact, win by 10,704 votes out of 4.8 mil­lion cast in the pres­i­den­tial race.

Now Ms. Stein and other Trump op­po­nents have two days to re­count.

In Penn­syl­va­nia Ms. Stein filed a law­suit on be­half of vot­ers who dis­be­lieve Mr. Trump won their state. The law­suit’s ev­i­dence is cir­cum­stan­tial: Some com­puter sci­en­tists fear that hack­ing is pos­si­ble, com­bined with the dis­par­ity be­tween pre-elec­tion polling and the ac­tual Elec­tion Day re­sults.

Their law­suit de­mands a full re­count, say­ing that’s the first step to fig­ur­ing out if hack­ing oc­curred. Ms. Stein was also look­ing into whether she could de­mand re­counts at the county level.

“The na­ture of hack­ing is that you don’t see it if you don’t look,” she said on MSNBC.

Penn­syl­va­nia Repub­li­cans mocked her law­suit, call­ing it “a sad commentary on the fail­ure of some to ac­cept the re­sults of the will of the peo­ple.”

Ms. Stein has raised more than $6 mil­lion to fi­nance re­count ef­forts. The Clin­ton cam­paign has said it is back­ing her, but Ms. Stein said she doubts they’ll take an ac­tive role.

She in­sisted she’s not try­ing to boost Mrs. Clin­ton — and in­deed said she’d called for a re­count in Michi­gan even be­fore Mr. Trump was cer­ti­fied the win­ner. She said she would have pur­sued a re­count even if Mrs. Clin­ton had come out on top.

“We are not here with a par­ti­san ax to grind,” she said.

Mr. Trump has dis­missed Ms. Stein’s re­count bid as a “scam” to raise money, and said the press was ig­nor­ing “se­ri­ous voter fraud in Vir­ginia, New Hamp­shire and Cal­i­for­nia.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

De­spite barely reg­is­ter­ing in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Green Party can­di­date Jill Stein pe­ti­tioned the Michi­gan Board of Can­vassers to re­count the state votes.

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