The recount of the 2016 election initiated by Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party is now fully underway in Wisconsin and set to begin in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Already, the recount is revealing changing numbers in at least one of the key swing states. Palmer Report reveals that in Pennsylvania, the city of Philadelphia has finally provided their final tallies from Election Day, making the vote gap between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton decrease by 23,000 votes in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
Heading into the recount, the vote differential between the two presidential candidates was 107,000 votes across the three swing states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. It was viewed as an insurmountable hurdle if the recount process was to overturn the election. That number has decreased by 23,000 votes, and the recount process has not even begun in two of the key swing states.
In a separate report, the Palmer Report notes that peculiar things about election tallies have been noted in Wisconsin as well. A Wisconsin recount official has been in contact with the Palmer Report and noted that there were some issues with the ballots, where voters were unclear on how the ballot worked and attempted to vote for a particular presidential candidate, but their votes were not counted.
Those discrepancies, if any, will be clarified during the 2016 recount process in Wisconsin’s hand count. Whether that will change the outcome of the Wisconsin race remains to be seen, although most experts expect no changes to the elections results.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump and his supporters are vigorously working to stop the recount in its entirety. The Detroit Free Press reports that today, Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed a suit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to “halt a presidential recount in Michigan before it begins.”
His suit alleges that Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein is not entitled to a recount and that there is not enough time to conduct one if she is granted a recount. AG Bill Schuette tweeted an announcement of the suit today.
It was an announcement that has been met with disappointment by some voters in Michigan, who still have concerns about transparency. Some view the recount as an issue of election integrity, as does Jill Stein, and they are expressing concern that Donald Trump and his supporters would work to stop an integrity matter.
The Michigan GOP tweeted a call to action this week, plainly protesting the 2016 recount and asking others to join the suit.
The Detroit Free Press reports what Attorney General Schuette said in his suit.
“If allowed to proceed, the statewide hand recount could cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars, and would put Michigan voters at risk of being disenfranchised in the electoral college.”
Schuette is a Republican who is anticipated to run for governor of the state in 2018 and a former campaign chair for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. When Jeb Bush’s presidential bid ended this year, Schuette became a supporter of Donald Trump.
An attorney for the Stein campaign noted today that Schuette’s actions were “unprecedented interference by a partisan attorney general on a matter that should be handled routinely by the Board of Canvassers,” reports the Detroit Free Press.
The Detroit Free Press also notes that an attorney for Donald Trump was unaware of the suit. But, the New York Times reports that “lawyers for Mr. Trump argued that Ms. Stein did not qualify to demand a recount and that it would not be finished in time for the Electoral College, which meets on Dec. 19.”
Michigan isn’t the only state where Republicans and Trump supporters are working to stop the recount from happening. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have seen suits as well. Dr. Jill Stein had some harsh words for Donald Trump’s attempts to stop the requests for integrity.
The Michigan recount would proceed next week if approved. In Wisconsin, the recount process is already underway. The New York Times has detailed the extent of the process and the level of transparency that elections officials are required to undergo in order to keep the 2016 recount a fair and transparent process.
No blue or black pens are allowed, reports the times, in the Elkhorn, Wisconsin, recount center, as they could “mar paper ballots,” reports the New York Times. Coats are left in the hallways, and purses, water bottles, and even keys are left on the floor so that the tables are “smooth and uncluttered.” The New York Times reports that the recount process is expected to take 12 days and cover 3 million ballots in Wisconsin’s 72 precincts.
Hillary Clinton is down 22,177 votes in Wisconsin and 10,704 votes in Michigan. She was originally down 70,000 votes in Pennsylvania, but new vote tallies have changed that with a 23,000 vote count in her favor. Hillary Clinton is now down by only 46,435 votes in Pennsylvania.
The Palmer Report notes that 83 percent of Wisconsin’s precincts will do a hand recount in Wisconsin. They have been in contact with at least one recount observer out of Dane County, Wisconsin. Karen Fehlker told the Palmer Report that during the initial days of the recounts that officials noted some ballots showed a clear intent to vote for president but not a clear vote.
“Many people wrote Clinton’s name on the bottom, or Trump’s for that matter, and didn’t mark a circle. So that counted as no vote originally. The ballot confused people.”
The Palmer Report notes that similar instances happened in Michigan and Florida. In Michigan, approximately 88,000 voters reportedly voted Democrat on the down ticket but did not vote for president at all. It’s being viewed as suspect by some.
But Michigan isn’t the only place where Trump or his surrogates are fighting the recount legally. Business Insider says that Trump supporters have also filed a federal lawsuit in Wisconsin asking the recount to stop, and they are also seeking a temporary restraining order.
The details of the restraining order are unclear at this time. The lawsuit was filed by the Great America PAC, the Stop Hillary PAC, and a Wisconsin voter by the name of Ronald Johnson.
The lawsuit alleges that the “due process rights of Johnson” and others who voted for Trump have been threatened with Recount 2016. The lawsuit also alleges that a recount is likely to have errors if the officials are rushing to have the recount complete by December 13. This is the date all recounts need to be completed by in order for the results to be certified before the electoral college meets on December 19.
The Pennsylvania recount is still undergoing the necessary litigation channels for a recount. On November 29, Jill Stein filed a petition for a recount in Pennsylvania as part of standard normal procedure. Politico reports that the Trump team is working to stop that recount as well.
It is a move that is not going over well with many members of the public, on all sides of the aisle. Many voters support the intentions of integrity in the recount, even if they do not anticipate a change of outcome in the 2016 election. They feel a recount would help them feel better about the results and question why Donald Trump is working so hard to stop the recount.
Shortly after Jill Stein filed her standard petition for a recount, Politico reports that the Republican Party and attorneys for Donald Trump filed a complaint asking to dismiss Stein’s recount petition.
The dismissal complaint reads, “Despite being no more than a blip on the electoral radar, Stein has now commandeered Pennsylvania’s electoral process, with an eye toward doing the same to the Electoral College. There is no evidence or even an allegation that any tampering with Pennsylvania’s voting systems actually occurred.”
Since the very beginning of her 2016 recount initiative, Jill Stein has said that the recount is about integrity and not about flipping the vote. Watch Jill Stein on The View discussing this.
Politico reports that Jill Stein has rejected Trump’s efforts to stop Recount 2016 as “outrageous.”
“The recount in Michigan, which has been driven by an outpouring of grassroots support in the state – will go forward. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers and Director of Elections has been a model of professionalism in moving this recount forward in an efficient, transparent manner. Yet the Trump campaign’s cynical efforts to delay the recount and create unnecessary costs for tax payers are shameful and outrageous.”
As of this afternoon, the Michigan State Canvassers was deadlocked on party lines in a 2-2 vote on whether or not the block the recount. Chad Livengood of the Detroit News tweeted on the live hearing of the Republican’s attempts to block the recount. They were unsuccessful, and the full recount will reportedly go forward.
[Featured Image by Morry Gash/AP Images]