Hillary Clinton is being urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump, New York has learned. The group, which includes voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, believes they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked. The group is so far not speaking on the record about their findings and is focused on lobbying the Clinton team in private.
Last Thursday, the activists held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case, according to a source briefed on the call. The academics presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000. While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee.
According to current tallies, Trump has won 290 Electoral College votes to Clinton’s 232, with Michigan’s 16 votes not apportioned because the race there is still too close to call. It would take overturning the results in both Wisconsin (10 Electoral College votes) and Pennsylvania (20 votes), in addition to winning Michigan’s 16, for Clinton to win the Electoral College. There is also the complicating factor of “faithless electors,” or members of the Electoral College who do not vote according to the popular vote in their states. At least six electoral voters have said they would not vote for Trump, despite the fact that he won their states.
The Clinton camp is running out of time to challenge the election. According to one of the activists, the deadline in Wisconsin to file for a recount is Friday; in Pennsylvania, it’s Monday; and Michigan is next Wednesday. Whether Clinton will call for a recount remains unclear. The academics so far have only a circumstantial case that would require not just a recount but a forensic audit of voting machines. Also complicating matters, a senior Clinton adviser said, is that the White House, focused on a smooth transfer of power, does not want Clinton to challenge the election result. Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri did not respond to a request for comment. But some Clinton allies are intent on pushing the issue. This afternoon, Huma Abedin’s sister Heba encouraged her Facebook followers to lobby the Justice Department to audit the 2016 vote. “Call the DOJ…and tell them you want the votes audited,” she wrote. “Even if it’s busy, keep calling.”
Update: Halderman has elaborated on his claims in a Medium post published Wednesday morning.
Jill Stein Just Called…Green Party Filing for Recount in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania
Jill Stein just called to say that I am the first one to be informed that the Green Party is formally petitioning for a recount in 3 states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Trump’s margin is less than 11,600 in Michigan, 27,200 in Wisconsin and 68,000 in Pennsylvania.
If just a few thousand votes are found in Wisconsin and Michigan, Hillary Clinton becomes president by 276 electoral votes verses 264 for Trump.
Stein told me “We’re filing in Wisconsin Friday because the votes were cast on proven hack-prone machines. This has been a hack-ridden election.” She said that it will be most difficult to recount the machines in Pennsylvania. When asked why the democrats are not bringing this action, Stein told this reporter that “Democrats do not act to protect the vote even when there is dramatic evidence” of tampering.
The Green Party told us that Stein will be represented by experienced voting rights attorney’s John Bonifaz, Boston, MA and Robert Fitrakis, Columbus, OH.
Stein said, “our voting system is on life support.” The presidential candidate also said, “The Green Party will continue to be the go to advocate for voting rights. That includes fighting vote suppression tactics such as the Interstate Crosscheck system.”
Interstate Crosscheck is the program which wrongly purged hundreds of thousand of minority voters in this election, according to the investigation this reporter fro Rolling Stone Magazine.
Stein received 50,700 votes in Michigan, five times Trump’s winning plurality, and 30,980 in Wisconsin, more than Trump’s margin. When asked the “Nader” question, “Isn’t it true that your votes in Wisconsin and Michigan, if they went to Clinton, would have blocked Trump?”, Stein answered, “Not at all. Our polls showed that 61% of our voters would have simply sat out the election, and one-third of the remaining voters would have voted Trump.” The candidate insisted, “We are the ‘un-spoilers.’”
Stein said she acted when Clinton turned silent because, “Only candidates may formally demand a re-count and we have standing.”
Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, now out as major motion non-fiction movie.