Bruce Murphy

Stein Will Pay For Presidential Recount

Green Party wants recount of narrow Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan.

By - Nov 23rd, 2016 09:45 am
Jill Stein. Photo courtesy of Jill Stein for President.

Jill Stein. Photo courtesy of Jill Stein for President.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who finished fourth in the presidential election, has announced her party will pay for a recount of the results in Wisconsin, and is still raising money to pay for recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Stein has already raised $4.8 million to pay for the recounts, including an estimated cost of $1.1 million in Wisconsin. All three states were narrow wins for Republican Donald Trump, who won the electoral college but lost the popular vote, and should those states flip to Democrat Hillary Clinton, she would win an electoral vote majority.

Stein’s challenge is ironic, as the liberal’s quixotic candidacy may have denied Clinton a victory; in Wisconsin Stein got 30,000 votes and Trump won by just 27,000 votes.

Clinton has been urged by prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in the three swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, New York magazine has reported. “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… may have been manipulated or hacked” in those states. They have declined to speak about this to media, however, and were 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,” the magazine reports. “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.”

But as CNN has reported, “election officials and cybersecurity experts said earlier this month that it is virtually impossible for Russia to influence the election outcome.”

Halderman, however, has written a column where he notes that “attackers broke into the email system of the Democratic National Committee and, separately, into the email account of…Podesta… and leaked private messages. Attackers infiltrated the voter registration systems of two states, Illinois and Arizona, and stole voter data. And there’s evidence that hackers attempted to breach election offices in several other states.”

“In all these cases,” he continues, “Federal agencies publicly asserted that senior officials in the Russian government commissioned these attacks. Russia has sophisticated cyber-offensive capabilities, and has shown a willingness to use them to hack elections. In 2014, during the presidential election in Ukraine, attackers linked to Russia sabotaged the country’s vote-counting infrastructure and, according to published reports, Ukrainian officials succeeded only at the last minute in defusing vote-stealing malware that was primed to cause the wrong winner to be announced.”

Trump has been declared the new president, with 290 Electoral College votes to Clinton’s 232, and with Michigan’s 16 votes not given to either candidate because the race there is still too close to call. For Clinton to win, the results would have to be flipped in Wisconsin (10 Electoral College votes), Pennsylvania (20 votes) and Michigan (16).

Clinton won the popular election, and her lead now stands at 1.82 million votes and is likely to grow to two million: she has more than 63.9 million votes compared to 62.1 million votes for Trump.

The deadline in Wisconsin to file for a recount is 5 p.m. today; in Pennsylvania, it’s Monday; and in Michigan its next week Wednesday.

“The academics so far have only a circumstantial case that would require not just a recount but a forensic audit of voting machines,” the magazine notes. And as Huffington Post reports, poll analysts like Nate Cohn of the New York Times and Nate Silver of are not convinced the election results in those states look suspicious (but both were wrong in their pre-election predictions).

Halderman writes that “the most likely explanation” for the surprising election results is that “the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other. The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts.”

While Pedesta was said to favor a recount, Clinton campaign officials were reportedly discouraged by the fact that “the White House, focused on a smooth transfer of power,” didn’t want Clinton to challenge the election result, New York magazine reported.

Still, Clinton supporters have been using the hashtag #AuditTheVote on Twitter to advocate for a recount, HuffPo reports, and the publication created a petition readers could sign. Meanwhile, members of the Green Party were spreading word of alleged discrepancies in voting that they felt justified a recount.

There has also been pressure on members of the Electoral College not to vote for Trump in states he won the popular vote. “At least six electoral voters have said they would not vote for Trump, despite the fact that he won their states,” New York magazine notes.

There have also been claims that Wisconsin’s restrictions on voting suppressed the vote and may have thrown the election to Trump.  The national group VoteRiders, which has helped people vote in state with new restrictions, has said it will later release an analysis of the impact of these restrictions in states like Wisconsin.

23 thoughts on “UPDATE: Stein Will Pay For Presidential Recount”

  1. Anne Harvieux says:

    If the results are suspicious and nothing is done to verify their credibility, does this not reinforce the perception that elections are rigged and further reduce participation in voting in future elections? We need to verify results were not tampered with.

  2. joyce small says:

    Sure why not challenge the results..It seems like
    this whole Trump thing is like he is making a movie
    or something about this election.

  3. Tom says:

    I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to randomly take batches of 100 ballots, hand count them first and then feed through the machine.

    If there are discrepancies, someone has to do some splainin’.

  4. will says:

    “If the results are suspicious and nothing is done to verify their credibility, does this not reinforce the perception that elections are rigged”

    That’s what Trump said and he was labelled dangerous by Clinton and the rest of the left wing/media. Self-awareness has never been the left’s strong suit now has it?

  5. Virginia says:

    All this Russian hacking and social media meddling and other subterfuges would make a great plot for a political thriller. Except this is a real presidential election.

    And, as Bruce noted, “attackers broke into the email system of the Democratic National Committee and, separately, into the email account of…Podesta… and leaked private messages. Attackers infiltrated the voter registration systems of two states, Illinois and Arizona, and stole voter data. And there’s evidence that hackers attempted to breach election offices in several other states.” It’s not paranoia if they really are out to rig an election…

    People have warned about the dangers of electronic voting machines for years. Why are any still being used?

  6. Virginia says:

    Jill Stein has currently collected over 3 million toward a recount. She will be filing in Wisconsin first, where the filing cost is 1.1 million dollars and the deadline is Friday.

  7. myfivecents says:

    I read today where they have filed the papers for the recount. Considering the count for Saulk County was 1500 more votes than the number of people who voted, Wisconsin needs a complete recount as well as Michigan and Pennsylvania.

  8. Paul says:

    Self-deluded democrats never cease to amaze. The same head in the sand outlook that caused democrats to overlook and underestimate Trump now fuels absurd dreams of upending the result. Sure, the voting machines were fixed and that will result in a reversal of the election results. And if that did not cause the election results, it must’ve been voter suppression. 27,000 suppressed votes. And if that was not the cause of the lost election, it was probably the work of invisible demonic vote-grabbing urchins hired by Trump from the depths of hell, casting spells upon would be voters for Clinton. One of these theories must be correct. Here are two words 63.6 million disappointed Americans will have to learn to accept; say it with me now!: President Trump.

  9. Kevin Baas says:

    There was widespread voter suppression. Not as bad as it could have been were it not for tireless legal efforts of Democrats. And not as bad as it was in states where the GOP squashed the Voting Rights Act because it “wasn’t needed anymore”.

    Trump won for many reasons, among them is a failing education system and a mass media that lacks backbone and feeds on false equivalance.

  10. Paul says:

    Of course there is no evidence that voter suppression had any influence on the outcome of the election. People did not vote for the Democratic candidate because she was universally disliked even by her own party. Interviews of actual human beings who did not vote when they had voted for the Democrats in the past, as opposed to wild eyed speculation about the impact of suppose it voter suppression, establish this point. People who cannot figure out how to get to the polls and cast a vote, moreover, probably should not be casting votes in the first place. Brings back memories of the voters in Florida in 2000 who could not figure out how to properly complete their ballots.

  11. Kevin Baas says:

    Thankfully we have plenty of evidence of how these rules impacted the outcome, ranging everywhere from statistics to first hand accounts.

    And I hope we no longer have those infamous ballots like we did in Florida in 2000 that despite being difficult to punch out due to so many chads built up behind them, ballots that were properly completed were not counted. And if that were to happen again I hope we don’t have the 5 atrociously corrupt Supreme court justices write a legally atrocious opinion like we did then.

  12. Patricia Jursik says:

    Electoral College votes Dec. 19, a date set in the Constitution. What happens if 3 states are doing recalls and they have not finished the state-wide process? A state-wide recall can take many weeks as we saw in the Kloppenberg race recently for Sup. Ct. A smooth transition is already a bumpy ride and about to get perilous?

  13. happyjack27 says:

    Contrary to the ruling of the 5 corrupt judges in “Bush v Gore”, a recount can last through the “safe harbor” date without causing any harm or danger. Indeed, the danger in not letting it pass this arbitrary deadline, and possibly putting the wrong guy in office, is great, and the harm severe. (to democracy itself)

  14. Rail Fan says:

    Based on a scientific sensitivity analysis I completed today the final election result will be Secretary Clinton winning the popular vote by 2 percent over Mr. Trump. Clinton currently has a popular vote lead of 2,128,808, based on data posted to the Cook Political Report. My analysis shows this lead will swell to 2,603,891 by the time all state election results are certified. I worked professionally in the statistics field and am very confident of my numbers.

    Clinton’s margin of victory in the popular vote is much higher than President Kennedy (1960) and President Nixon (1968). It is also much higher than the popular vote margin of Vice-President Gore over President George W. Bush, in an election ruled on by the U. S. Supreme Court.

    Harvard Professor Dr. Lawrence Lessig wrote persuasively in an opinion piece in The Washington Post today (11-25-2016) that the electoral college should be influenced by the American democratic principle of one person one vote in their selection of the President. Dr. Lessig argues that the people have made a reasonable judgment and the electoral college should choose Secretary Clinton as our next President. He notes the electors are not constrained as to their choice of the next President; already six (6) of them have indicated they will not vote for Mr. Trump.

    My opinion is that the will of the voters should not be flaunted. They have decisively chosen Secretary Clinton as the next President of the United States of America.

  15. tom says:

    Why not validate the results in three states? I contributed to Jill Stein’s effort but have no illusions about the ultimate result of the election changing. With all the fear mongering about rigged elections spread by Trump, why not recount so we all have a clear understanding about the quality of the voting process. Seems like a no brainer if she can raise the funds.

  16. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    This is being put up but the Clintons and their trashy friends, who will do anything to stop Trump and regain power. Stein did not get this much money, in her own rac,e and she cannot win, so why?

    It is part of the Never Trump gangs attempt to stop Trump at any cost.

  17. fightingbobfan says:

    An average chimp can tell the difference between the Clintons with their foundation that has helped millions world-wide and the epitome of sleaze Donald Trump who as we speak, is assembling the biggest pack of losers to ever occupy government.

  18. Wifather2000 says:

    Donald Trump and the republicans are very amazing! Every (s)election they get America’s wage earners to show themselves, their friends and family, the world, just how stupid they are!

  19. Bruce Thompson says:

    For more information on U of Michigan Computer Science Prof’s scenario on hacking the election see his post here:

    Here it is in brief, but it is worth reading the whole thing:

    “First, the attackers would probe election offices well in advance in order to find ways to break into their computers. Closer to the election, when it was clear from polling data which states would have close electoral margins, the attackers might spread malware into voting machines in some of these states, rigging the machines to shift a few percent of the vote to favor their desired candidate. This malware would likely be designed to remain inactive during pre-election tests, do its dirty business during the election, then erase itself when the polls close. A skilled attacker’s work might leave no visible signs — though the country might be surprised when results in several close states were off from pre-election polls.”

    He goes on to note that he and his students have done this very thing in their lab and notes the strong evidence that the Russian government hacked computers to help Donald Trump.

    The press release from the state election board also announces that another third-party candidate has also requested a recount. May you live in interesting times–old Chinese curse.

  20. D says:


    This is why the Democrats have turned Wisconsin Red, from top to bottom. The party has been hijacked by out of touch kooks whose only tactics boil down to divisiveness and crackpottery. Scott Walker and Trump have matadored the Dems. like the out of control emotional animals they are.

    Interesting theory that Russian boogeyman hackers got into the systems of states Republicans were expected to lose big in. Only three states, not the closer contests that Hillary managed to win. Also interesting that a candidate who raised no money was able to raise millions in a day from unknown sources.

    Maybe we can rename this site Democrat InfoWars because that’s all the sort of information I’m getting here.

  21. fightingbobfan says:

    Why would the Republican party cheat, to gerrymander, to suppress votes?

    Who would;dn’t want to vote for a party that has screwed up our education system from K-4 to Phd, who allows corporate interests to make our water undrinkable, who stuffs money into the pockets of their wealthy donors so they can take it out of the state, who divides us as a state, who is letting our infrastructure into the ground while running up debt?

    We’d have to be nuts not to vote for that.

  22. Patricia Jursik says:

    JS article answers my questions above in today’s edition (11/26/16); if recall is still being conducted, (article states Kloppenberg recount took about one month (but she had a close enough margin to demand a recount unlike Stein) then the votes will not be counted on 12/19, the date required in the Constitution for the electoral college vote. If Trump did not get all 3 electoral college votes from WI, PENN, MI he could miss the 270 needed (as would Clinton). I believe that if the Electoral College does not determine the election it then goes to the House and Paul Ryan would lead this procedural vote as Speaker At the end of the day, it looks like Trump would prevail but it does create some interesting scenarios.

  23. happyjack27 says:

    Patricia: The current electoral vote count is 306-232. WI, PA, and MI total 10+20+16= 46 electoral votes. 270 are needed to win. If 46 are moved, that makes it 260-278. So Clinton would win.

    They don’t need to “count votes” by a certain date. Even the so-called “safe harbor” date can safely be ignored without any harm. Hell, the inaguration can even be delayed.

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