A U.S. presidential election recount has become the topic of discussion barely three weeks after Donald Trump clinched a monumental victory in the presidential election. Can the recount change the election result? According to the experts, the possibility is very slim.
5 Things To Know About The Election Recount pic.twitter.com/lYQKFm8vU3— The Onion (@TheOnion) November 28, 2016
The elections took place amid the concerns about interference from Russia. There were allegations that Russian hackers were responsible for hacked John Podesta emails and were “scanning and probing” the elections’ systems. It was reported that a week before elections, the White House used an emergency hotline to warn Russia against interference in U.S. elections.
After Donald Trump’s surprising victory, security experts and activists began contemplating the possibility that the results could have been tampered with. John Bonifaz, the founder of the National Voting Rights Institute, spoke about the possibility.
“I was getting calls from members of the election integrity community, so I joined them and began looking at possible discrepancies myself.”
At the forefront of the U.S. presidential election recount campaign is the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein. The three states that will undergo recount efforts are Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. All three states require the petitioning party to pay for the recounts. Stein started an online campaign last week to raise the funds required to move forward with the recounts. So far, the campaign has raised more than $6 million.
The U.S. presidential election recount procedure for Wisconsin will take place on Thursday. County officials will decide whether they will hand count all the ballots or run them through tabulation machines.
The Green party began the process for Pennsylvania on Monday, and it is speculated that the process for election recount in Michigan will be undertaken before Wednesday. With 46 votes in the Electoral College at stake, the recounts can tip the scale back in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Can a presidential election recount change the results?
For Hillary Clinton to come out victorious, she will need more than 100,000 votes to swing in her favor. Historical data suggests that such massive swings are impossible unless a large-scale voter fraud is discovered.
According to election research group FairVote, from 2005 to 2015, 27 election recounts were held out of 4,687 statewide general elections. Only in three recounts, the final outcome was affected. The median swing between the top two candidates is 219 votes. The lowest difference between Trump and Clinton is 10,704 votes in Michigan.
Jill Stein also believes that the recount is unlikely to change the outcome of the election. A statement on her website reads, “These recounts are part of an election integrity movement to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is.”
A U.S. presidential election recount has also gained the support of the Clinton campaign. The Clinton team has maintained that they are aware of the slim possibilities of a massive swing. As reported by The Guardian, Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Clinton campaign said the following.
“Regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, in principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings.”
The recount may not change the final outcome of the elections but it can shed some light on alleged tampering by foreign hackers. It has already been clarified by the Obama administration that there is no evidence to support the claims of tampering.
According to J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer science professor, the election recount can set a precedent for examination of paper ballots, which will help in deterring cyber attacks in the future.
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
Donald Trump has aired his views on the proceeding of recounts with a series of tweets. He claimed that the Green party was staging the recount to “fill up their coffers.” He also alleged that he lost the popular vote due to “millions of people who voted illegally.”
Trump is going to be our President. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead." So much time and money will be spent - same result! Sad— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]