A recount of the Presidential election will take place this coming week in Wisconsin. The recount is a result of a petition filed by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
While President-elect Donald Trump is busy choosing his cabinet members, Stein and her team are looking to get his election overturned.
Wisconsin is the first of three states where she intends to contest the results of the election. The other two states are Michigan and Pennsylvania.
These three states are the states Clinton needed to win in order to earn enough electoral votes. Trump won narrow victories in each of these states.
Why A Recount?
Jill Stein states that she is filing the petitions because of reports that a group of data experts and election attorneys were calling on Hillary Clinton to demand a recount. This group has suspicions that a Russian cyber attack could have influenced the outcome of the election in those states.
While the group has no actual proof of wrongdoing, they did notice that Clinton fared worse in Wisconsin counties that used voting machines instead of paper ballots. Jill Stein also points to Clinton’s growing lead in the popular vote as a compelling reason to demand a recount. These two factors have breathed life into this effort to force the recount.
As one might expect, there has been criticism levied against Stein. Her critics question Stein’s true motives behind the recount.
Is this really an honest attempt to ensure the validity of the election? Or is it a ploy to re-fill the Green Party’s coffers?
On Stein’s website, the fine print informs donors that she’s not able to guarantee that a recount will actually happen in all three of these states.
Here is the disclaimer in its entirety:
“We hope to do recounts in all three states. If we only raise sufficient money for two, we will demand recounts in two states. If we only raise enough money for one, we will demand a recount in one state. If we do not raise enough for any recount (which is highly unlikely) we pledge to use the money for election integrity efforts and to promote systemic voting system reform.”
The Green Party does not accept corporate donations. All donations come from private citizens.
What Does The Clinton Campaign Think?
The Clinton campaign has been remarkably silent on this issue, even though they would benefit from an overturned election. Two supporters of the recount have attempted to convince members of Clinton’s team to back the recount, but they showed no interest.
Apparently, the Clinton campaign hasn’t chimed in because there haven’t been any credible reports of fraud or cyber attacks. Most experts believe that the real reason Clinton was defeated in these states was because the Democratic base wasn’t motivated to show up on Election Day.
A recount in all three states will be quite costly. Wisconsin’s recount may cost up to $2.5 million. This includes the petition filing fee.
In Michigan, the filing fee is $600,000 and in Pennsylvania, the cost is $500,000. The deadline for Michigan is next Monday, and Pennsylvania’s deadline is next Wednesday.
The recount is an arduous process which requires the volunteers to be highly detail-oriented. The effort would require a hand counting of each ballot including the electronic ballots.
If the candidates disagree with the results of the Wisconsin recount, they will have five business days to contest the outcome in court. While Clinton supporters are hopeful, most experts believe that it’s highly unlikely that the recount would overturn enough votes to give Clinton the victory.
Of course, the experts also believed that Donald Trump had no real chance of winning the presidency, so it’s anyone’s guess how the recount will turn out. Either way, the American public will know the results by mid-December.