Supporters of the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, are calling for an audit of the 2016 presidential election votes in swing states after a group of computer scientists and election lawyers alleged that the results may have been manipulated by foreign hackers.
Clinton allies and experts in electronic voting have expressed their support to have the votes recounted in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, in an attempt to verify the results in states that put President-elect Donald Trump ahead in the race. Reports suggesting the election was rigged fueled these supporters to push for an election audit.
Look who “can’t accept the election results” Hillary Clinton Supporters Call for Vote Recount in Battleground States https://t.co/D4t6HbPUXG
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 24, 2016
According to The Guardian, the group urging the Clinton campaign to challenge the electoral result is planning to submit a report to congressional committee chairs and the U.S. authorities by next week. The report will focus on results in key battleground states.
A member of the group interested in reviewing the votes is Dr. Barbara Simons, a computer scientist and a board member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Simons believes there is a need to conduct a post-election ballot audit. However, she refused to describe the nature of her involvement.
Clinton supporters are convinced that there was an interference during the elections after cyber security experts have accused Russia of hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee, which were then published by WikiLeaks. Last month, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security said in a joint statement that Russia has directed the stealing of emails.
“Some states have also recently seen scanning and probing of their election-related systems, which in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company,” the joint statement read. “However, we are not now in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government.”
Political figures and political activists have reportedly called for the federal authorities to investigate whether Russia was planning to interfere with the U.S. elections.
However, there is no concrete evidence to support the claims that hacking was used to sabotage the vote count. According to political observers and other Democrats, to reverse the results, Clinton would have to win the three key states, which, according to experts is impossible at this stage.
Reports said Clinton is now just roughly 30,000 votes behind Trump in Michigan and Wisconsin.
“Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyber attack? Probably not,” J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, wrote on Medium. As an expert in electronic voting, he explained, “the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked.”
Is it, therefore, necessary to examine the ballots and voting equipment to determine whether the vote counts have been manipulated?
Halderman also insisted that a post-election audit would help dispel doubts and reassure voters, especially Clinton supporters, that the results are accurate. “Reviewing the ballots now can only lead to strengthened electoral integrity, but the window for candidates to act is closing fast,” he wrote.
The time for filing a petition for a recount is running out. The deadline for Wisconsin was on Friday. In Pennsylvania, voters are allowed to petition for a recount until Monday, while in Michigan, the deadline is on Wednesday.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 24, 2016
On social media, supporters have assembled using the hashtag #AuditTheVote to convince Clinton to file for recounts, but her campaign has yet to comment on the issue. The former first lady has already conceded the elections, and in her concession speech, she welcomed Trump and urged voters to give the business tycoon the chance to lead.
— #NotMyPresident (@France4Hillary) November 25, 2016
The rivalry between Clinton and Trump may have died down, but calls for an election audit will remain for a while. On Wednesday, Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate launched a fundraising drive to petition vote recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]