Green Party candidate Jill Stein will file a motion to recount the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania due to a rather shoddy theory that election machines were hacked during the 2016 election. Guy has a good post on why this is weak sauce. The Left is going through the stages of grief here, folks. Elections where progressives lose means that some nefarious, clandestine force was at play because how could a weak Democratic candidate, who was under FBI investigation, lose these states? Oh, maybe it’s because the Clinton campaign outright ignored rural voters, which explains why they slaughtered her. And Clinton’s base based in urban areas (Flint, Detroit, and Milwaukee etc.) decided to stay home. Yet, Ms. Stein is moving forward with these requests, even having a fundraising page that says they have to raise at least $2 million by Friday in order to launch a recount effort (via The Hill):
She plans to request a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, her campaign said in a statement Wednesday.
“After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts were causing many [Americans] to wonder if our election results are reliable," Stein said in the statement. "These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified.”
Stein's campaign claimed that some of the machines used in Wisconsin were banned in California due to vulnerability to hacking.
Stein launched a fundraising page on her website to bankroll a recount effort Wednesday.
"After seeing compelling evidence of voting anomalies, the Stein/Baraka Green Party Campaign is launching an effort to ensure the integrity of our elections. With your help, are raising money to demand recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania-- three states where the data suggests significant discrepancies in vote totals," the page reads.
It goes on to say the group needs to raise "over $2 million by this Friday, 4pm central," to ensure a recount. Wisconsin's deadline for filing is Friday afternoon, they added in the statement.
So, is there any truth to this? No. But let’s rehash this. Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine posted this story about how experts are saying the vote counts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin may have been hacked. The New York Daily News also posted a story about the election being hacked. The problem is that there’s zero evidence to these claims. Alex Griswold at Mediaite ripped to shreds this rather nutty theory about the 2016 election:
The backround is that the Clinton campaign apparently held a conference call with a group of professors and experts and discussed potentially contesting the result of the election. In particular, the experts urged Clinton to contest the states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. That somehow got leaked to New York Magazine, which set off a series of stories at outlets like New York Daily News. (Note: I pick a lot on NYDN in this piece because that’s where I first encountered this turd of a story, but I could have just as easily picked on The Huffington Post, Slate, The Guardian, etc.)
Shame on NY Mag. Shame on NYDN. Shame on every reporter who uncritically passed along this embarrassment of a story and shame on every editor who approved it. I expected conspiracies theories in the wake of the election, because I honestly understand the pain and confusion many people felt when Trump won. But I didn’t expect anyone in the media to fully embrace them.
Most of all, shame on the Clinton campaign and her supporters for even entertaining this crackpot theory. You know, those same people who were horrified, simply horrified by Donald Trump’s allegations that the election was rigged? Turns out the same people who spent months trying to get Trump to say that he would accept the election results had no intention of doing so if Clinton lost.
This is what warranted this Griswold’s op-ed concerning NYDN [emphasis mine]:
A prominent group of election lawyers and computer scientists said presidential election results in three swing states that Donald Trump won may have been manipulated or hacked, and are pressing Hillary Clinton to seek a recount, according to a report.
The group held a conference call last week with Clinton's top campaign lieutenants and lobbied for a challenge after finding something fishy in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, according to New York Magazine.
Members of the group told the Clinton camp that in Wisconsin, Clinton's vote count was down 7% in counties that relied on electronic voting machines when compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots, the magazine said.
The group apparently has no proof of hacking, but said the suspicious pattern is enough for an independent review.
So, there is no proof of hacking, but there is a “suspicious pattern” (i.e. Trump winning the state).
“So Clinton’s vote was down 7% in Wisconsin counties with electronic voting… and counties with electronic voting were also the ones most likely to vote against Clinton. In other words, literally nothing is suspicious about the election results,” wrote Griswold.
Also, Nate Silver, David Wasserman, and Nate Cohn of FiveThirtyEight, The Cook Political Report, and The New York Times’ Upshot blog respectively dismissed this theory, noting, as Griswold did, that there’s nothing unusual going on here. Cohn added that a) voter turnout in non-black wards in Philadelphia was the same as Obama’s; and b) yeah, Trump did great in counties with paper ballots, just like in Iowa (where he won) and Minnesota (where he lost by…1.4 points to Clinton). The Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow noted how funny this whole tin foil exercise was, given that if vote rigging did actually occur—Trump would have to be winning the popular vote. Not to mention The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips and Philip Bump wrote when the hysteria over hacked elections was brewing around September how hard it is to actually hack the results of an election here.
This seems to be a rather desperate and sad attempt by those on the Left to try to say that Clinton was cheated. She wasn’t. She was a bad candidate who lost. Democrats got a rather nasty reminder that not only is demography not destiny, but how many Democrats and Obama supporters said, “Yeah, I’m not With Her.” Millions of Obama supporters flipped for Trump. Her campaign operations proved to be not as stellar as reported in the media. It’s as if some people are not only denying reality, which is Trump won, they’re denying the fact that Democratic turnout was down in key areas in these three states. Just look at Wayne County Michigan and Milwaukee where Clinton got roughly 80,000 and 43,000 fewer votes respectively than Obama. That would’ve made up the difference in Michigan and Wisconsin, but that didn’t happen. She lost, my liberal friends. Lost. Lost. Lost. Lost. Quit sniffing glue; no one hacked the election
Left-wing conspiracy theories of vote rigging in MI/PA/WI just as pathetic as Pat McCrory's refusal to accept defeat in NC.— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 23, 2016
Maybe a more complicated analysis would reveal something, but usually bad news when a finding can't survive a basic sanity check like this.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 23, 2016
Furthermore, the WI voting pattern looks quite easily explained by the fact that rural counties use machines and urban ones use paper.— Josh Barro (@jbarro) November 23, 2016
I just love idea that Russians "hacked" the election (remember when "rigging" was mocked?) but made sure Trump didn't win popular vote.— Ashe Schow (@AsheSchow) November 23, 2016
Family member asserts Trump rigged it bc he alleged rigging beforehand, and Trump has a projection issue. As credible evidence as any lol— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 24, 2016
The result was that Clinton's raw vote margin in non-black Philadelphia wards was basically identical to Obama— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 24, 2016
I'm just saying that there's nothing about Trump winning WI that's odd, given how well he did in IA/MN--where there's a paper ballot— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 23, 2016
Metro Wisconsin, where Clinton did well, uses paper; rural Wisc, where she collapsed like everywhere, is electronic. https://t.co/4aF9ooOnWe— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 23, 2016
Where are there paper ballots in Wisconsin? Milwaukee, Madison and the Milwaukee suburbs?— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 22, 2016