The Pennsylvania election recount has delivered a major blow to Donald Trump, with the latest update revealing that his lead has dropped by 22,000 votes as counties continue counting votes from last month’s presidential election — all amid a legal battle from Donald Trump to halt the effort.
A recount of the 2016 election results has been ongoing in Pennsylvania, and already it narrowed his lead by a margin of 22,000 votes — dropping the total lead from 71,000 to 49,000 as provisional and absentee ballots from overseas were counted and added to the total, NBC Philadelphia reported.
The new total came even before Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s move for a full recount. A hearing is scheduled for Monday to determine if this larger recount will move forward in Pennsylvania.
But it may happen either way. The revised totals from the Pennsylvania election recount has dropped Donald Trump’s lead down to 0.8 percent. If it should fall down to within 0.5 percent, it would trigger an automatic statewide recount.
Though that is still a sizeable gap to close, the Palmer Report noted that recounts scheduled for Philadelphia — a city where Clinton won by large margins — could turn the votes needed to kick off a statewide recount.
“That’s a hefty number. But on the other hand, Pennsylvania has already closed the gap by more than twenty thousand votes just through precinct level revisions – so a shift of another twenty thousand is theoretically possible. Even if the Philadelphia recount fails to bring Trump’s statewide lead under 0.5%, any shift in the numbers would give Jill Stein more legal fuel for making the case to the courts that a statewide recount is appropriate.”
Republicans are trying to stop efforts for a larger recount. A lawyer representing the Republican Party of Pennsylvania said there is no evidence of vote tampering that would justify a statewide recount.
“I hope that once the public hears that the counting was done correctly this will wrap up pretty quickly,” lawyer Jonathan Goldstein told NBC Philadelphia.
Donald Trump’s campaign has also tried to block the Pennsylvania recount efforts, Politico reported. Lawyers representing the president-elect have tried to end Jill Stein’s efforts to recount votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the three states that Trump pulled out of Hillary Clinton’s corner and ultimately turned the election in his favor.
The petition claimed that Jill Stein has no evidence of election fraud in any of the states.
“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,” noted the complaint filed on Thursday. “There is no evidence — or even an allegation — that any tampering with Pennsylvania’s voting systems actually occurred.”
But Jill Stein has stood by her calls for election recounts, saying Donald Trump has no grounds in trying to stop the efforts.
“The recount in Michigan, which has been driven by an outpouring of grassroots support in the state — will go forward,” she said in a statement. “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 taxpayers are shameful and outrageous.”
Though the Pennsylvania recount has taken a big chunk out of Donald Trump’s lead, experts say it is unlikely that even a statewide recount would produce enough of a change to make Hillary Clinton the winner. That is a refrain repeated by Clinton herself, as her campaign has said it would help in overseeing Stein’s recount efforts, but did not expect any of the results to change.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]