Vote Recounts in Battleground States

Jill Stein files request and Clinton lawyers will participate in Wisconsin recount

By: Brady Coyle, Staff Writer

The chances are slim of a change in the results, but as the old saying goes, “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over”.

According to CNN, J. Alex Halderman, the director for University of Michigan’s Centre for Computer Security and Society, and several other computer scientists have recommended that the Clinton campaign call for a recount of votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

The recommendation is being made primarily based on the unsettling trend of president-elect Donald Trump doing far better than Clinton in counties that used electronic voting machines. Clinton will need the results to change in all three states in order for her to take the White House from the republican nominee.

If the recount leads to different results, Clinton will take the White House. Despite that, Clinton did not initiate the effort for a recount. It was in fact Jill Stein, leader of the Green Party in the United States, who started a petition for a recount, raised the money to pay for the recount, and filed a request for a vote recount in Wisconsin, a state worth ten electoral votes. Dr. Stein has pledged to also file requests in both Michigan (16 electoral votes) and Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), in an attempt to overturn the election results.

There is a fee that comes with filing for a recount. According to FOX news, Stein needed to raise $2.5 million in order to pay the fee required for a recount in all three states. She eclipsed that mark by raising a whopping total of $4.8 million, a sum of money that exceeded Stein’s entire presidential campaign fundraising.

Stein is leading the attempt to oust Trump from office with the voter recount, in hopes that Clinton takes the White House. Stein’s determination is an interesting paradox, as many democrats believe that if was not for her and Gary Johnson, another third party candidate, Clinton could have won the electoral college in the first place. Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, ended up winning 4.7% of the popular vote, while Stein won 1.9%.

Despite having the demanding tasks of naming his transition team, making appointments to his cabinet and preparing for his first 100 days in office, in typical Trump style, the president-elect has been actively opposing Stein’s efforts, both in interviews and on his Twitter account.

Last Thursday, Donald Trump filed an objection to Michigan’s recount of votes. The president-elects biggest issue with the recount, besides the fact that it could overturn his victory, is that he does not believe Stein, as a “one percent candidate”, was entitled to a recount. President-elect Trump was also concerned that the recount could not be completed by the time Michigan was due to cast its Electoral College votes.

The likelihood is that, even if recounts in all three states did occur, there will be no change to the outcome. So what is the big deal? Why are we concerned about this whole recount issue?

Well, for one, it is a beautiful piece of irony. Donald Trump, in the third and final presidential debate, revealed that he had not decided whether or not he would accept the election results on November 8th. Now, in a twist of fate, Trump is a president-elect who is throwing somewhat of a tantrum at the fact that Stein has decided to challenge the results of the vote.

The more pressing issue for the United States as a whole is there has been an unsettling trend of challenging democracy in this election. Time and time again, despite his November victory, the president-elect has called the election rigged and has declared the media to be on Clinton’s side.

From the Anti-Trump side, there have been numerous threats from American citizens, particularly celebrities that carry heavy influence, of leaving the country if Trump were to be elected. This also challenges democracy. Being unwilling to accept what the citizens of the USA have decided is a direct threat to democracy. Now, Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has reached 2.5 million votes and is climbing, but based on the current democratic system, Trump won fair and square.

So, if these recounts are justified and the fee has been paid, there should be no reason not to go through with them. What is more important than recounts, no matter if the results stand or if Clinton takes over as Madam President-elect, is the healing and unification of the United States.

The campaigns, from both democrats and republicans, were a year and a half of divisive rhetoric and labelling of the opposition. Clinton identified half of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” and said they were “irredeemable”. The President-elect spent his campaign using xenophobic, racist and sexist language, and in the days the followed his victory, there were numbers of racially driven assaults and acts across the country.

How will the country unify? It certainly will not happen while a recount is going on; as long as there is reason for Clinton fans to hope, they will not be offering support to Donald Trump. So we should rule out a united country before the inauguration of the 45th President.

But forget about the recount for now; one of two candidates, who received less than 50% of the popular vote, will get sworn in on January 20, 2017, and will be charged with the task of finding a way to bring the country together, one way or another.

From day one, neither candidate had my support. Clinton represented zero change, epitomized politics that supported those who lined her pockets with campaign funds, and spent her last days on the trail seeking celebrity endorsements rather than votes. On the other hand, Trump is… Well… Trump.

More than likely it will be Donald Trump being sworn in next month, so I find it very difficult to believe the United States will be unified anytime soon. But hey, a month ago I was the guy telling anyone who would listen not to worry; Clinton has it in the bag.

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