Published: Thu, December 08, 2016
World | By Paul Elliott

Election recount: Clinton would need Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to take presidency

Election recount: Clinton would need Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to take presidency

Local officials in Wisconsin will decide for themselves how to carry out a presidential election recount after a state judge on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit by former Green Party candidate Jill Stein to have the ballots counted by hand. She answered the panelists as they took turns grilling her on whether Hillary Clinton was somehow involved in the decision to call for the recount or perhaps would have won if Stein hadn't run and siphoned away some voters.

Donald Trump's stunning victory in the presidential contest has unleashed talk of recounts, with the Republican president-elect contributing a surprise twist.

The complaint contends that Stein only received 31,006 votes in Wisconsin - so Clinton is the only person who could benefit from a recount.

"We need to verify the vote in this and every election", she said, "so that Americans can be sure we have a fair, secure and accurate voting system".

Mr. Trump defeated Mrs. Clinton in Pennsylvania by about 71,000 votes or about 1 percentage point.

Stein has said that she was calling for the recount "because of the vulnerability of ... voting systems and various indicators of concern", though she admitted that she does not expect the outcome of the election to change.

The complaint also alleges Clinton appears to have illegally helped Stein raise almost $7 million for the recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and MI - double the amount Stein raised for her own presidential campaign.

Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas said Monday that a recount plan is in a process and is set to begin Friday, Dec. 2. The Clinton campaign had no immediate response.

Attorneys for Trump have not said whether they would choose to file an appeal, but during the State Board of Canvassers meeting argued a machine recount would be faster than a hand recount, which is what the Stein campaign asked for and how Secretary of State officials now plan to proceed.

"Nevertheless, county clerks have been gearing up to complete this recount under a very challenging deadline". Critics say Stein is simply trying to raise money and her political profile while building a donor database. They said Stein is asking for an expensive, time-consuming recount "on the basis of nothing more than speculation". Levinson says given the time constraints, they want to focus resources on the recount that begins Thursday.

A recount could begin as soon as Friday in the state's largest 19 counties, followed by the smaller counties, with a goal of finishing the statewide recount by December 10.

The majority of Wisconsin counties planned to do a hand recount of ballots cast even though the judge's ruling means they can choose to feed the ballots into tabulation machines to double check the counts.

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