Things you should know about the recounting efforts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
In close elections, recounts are generally regarded as standard practice. Usually speaking, they don’t make much news. Of course there was nothing “standard” about the 2016 election cycle, so why would the recount of the 2016 presidential election be any different.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, announced she was spearheading presidential recount efforts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Stein has been able to raise over $6 million in fundraising for the recount! So far, many have given money to Stein’s recount cause in hopes of finding enough electoral votes for Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 presidential contest. So to those people:
STEIN’S RECOUNT EFFORTS WON’T GET HILLARY CLINTON ELECTED PRESIDENT!!!
This is not an opinion, it’s just a fact! The areas that Donald Trump won won’t find such major voting irregularities that it will give Clinton the election. So before you decide to donate to the cause, here are some quick points to know about Stein’s electoral recount!
(1) Regardless of what President-Elect Donald Trump thinks, asking for an electoral recount doesn’t mean you aren’t accepting the results of that 2016 presidential contest. The idea is more about making sure voting irregularities aren’t happening in places where the electoral contest was close. The recount, as it’s currently brought forth, is more about making sure voting processes run smoothly in future electoral contests than trying to reverse the decision of the 2016 presidential election. However…
(2) It’s easy to see, why people think, the recount effort is a push to change the outcome of the 2016 election. As Stein’s RT interview implies, she claims the presidential election had been “hack-riddled.” While not directly saying that the recount vote may change the outcome of the presidential contest, Stein has also been very careful to not clear up her intentions or reasons for a recount. Both the Green Party and her know very well this ambiguity has helped them gain fundraising and publicity for the recount effort.
(3) As for the allegations of voting machines getting hacked, that’s highly unlikely. The truth is voting machines can’t be hacked from distant locations. So even with intelligence agencies saying Russian hackers affected the 2016 presidential election by leaking emails, the chances of that happening to actual voting machines however is extremely low. Not to mention, a recount effort would not prove that hacking of voting machines even occurred. With all that said, there is nothing wrong in doing a recount to see if other voting irregularities had taken place, but to say the reason you’re doing it is to see if voting machines have been hacked is disingenuous.
(4) Many have asked the obvious question of why the Green Party is spearheading the recount effort? In fact, it was only recently that the Clinton campaign reluctantly decided to be part of the process. To understand this, it’s important to realize that the Green Party has pushed for presidential recounts in the past. In 2004, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party teamed up to pay for a recount in Ohio for the presidential election that year. The recount stemmed from the Democrats complaining that voter suppression efforts were used from getting some people to the polls. This year, for Stein and the Green Party, their push for a recount has more to do with capturing the hearts and minds of disappointed liberals than anything else. Considering #AuditTheVote has been trending in social media the past few days, the Green Party’s strategy looks to be working.
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
(5) Another question that has been brought up is the ludicrous amount of money Stein has raised for the recount effort. With over $6 million (!!!) raised thus far, many people are wondering why would you need that much money for a simple recount? Based on the figures that Stein has assessed on the fundraising website – $2-3 million for attorney’s fees, the cost to pay for statewide recount observers, ect – it’s most likely that the money being raised now will be used to challenge the recount decision in court. Specifically, the legal fees needed to open a recount in Pennsylvania, where the recount deadline has already passed. That most definitely will end up being very expensive. Based on the Green Party’s efforts in 2004, this recount effort looks to be a much lengthier and more involved process.
(6) Democrats generally looked to be torn on Stein’s recount effort. While many liberals within the Democratic Party are championing the recount process, other Democrats look at it very differently. To detractors, Stein’s recount efforts points resources and money towards a hopeless goal that could be used elsewhere (like helping the Democrats win a close Louisiana Senate race in December). To them, this recount is at best a gigantic waste of time and at worst it creates a giant wedge in the Democratic Party that only benefits people like Jill Stein.
The amount of Democratic energy and money being wasted on recounts instead of trying to win the Louisiana Senate Race is mind boggling
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 24, 2016
(7) Sadly, many who have donated to the recount effort believe they will find a voting irregularity that will give Clinton enough electoral votes to win the 2016 presidential election. So we feel that we should tell you, THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Back in 2004, when the Green Party and Libertarian Party did a joint recount in Ohio, they only found around 300 more votes for John Kerry over George W. Bush. Basically the recount found no difference in Bush’s original margin of victory in Ohio. So if you want to support the recount effort to make sure voting irregularities aren’t present in future electoral contests, then by all means, you should support the recount effort! But if you think this recount will give Clinton enough electoral votes to become president, then you’re better off donating elsewhere.
(Photo Credit: Jill Stein’s Instagram Account)