Wisconsin Election Official: We're Preparing To Go Forward With A Recount

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Nov 26, 2016 12:30 PM
Wisconsin Election Official: We're Preparing To Go Forward With A Recount

Well, it seems the 2016 election will take another annoying and unnecessary turn since Wisconsin has granted Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s petition to recount the votes, despite no fraud or voter discrepancies that would warrant such a course of action. Yet, one thing is driving liberals insane to no end: Donald Trump won the election. Stein also got back up from the Reform Party, whose candidate; Rocky De La Fuente also filed a recount petition (via WaPo):

An election recount will take place soon in Wisconsin, after former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein filed a petition Friday with the state’s Election Commission, the first of three states where she has promised to contest the election result.

The move from Stein, who raised millions since her Wednesday announcement that she would seek recounts of Donald Trump’s apparent election victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, came just 90 minutes before Wisconsin’s 5 p.m. Friday deadline to file a petition. Now it will keep some hope alive for many Hillary Clinton supporters for another few weeks while Wisconsin recounts ballots before a Dec. 13 deadline.

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To be on the safe side, the group of experts urged a recount — but it was Stein’s campaign that ended up demanding one, soliciting at first $2.5 million and later up to $7 million to fund the recounts. As of Friday evening, Stein’s campaign reported taking in over $5.25 million in recount-related donations — the most by a third-party candidate in history.

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In a statement, Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas guessed that the cost and complexity of the recount would be in excess of the state’s last recount in 2011, which carried a price tag of more than $520,000. In that recount over a state Supreme Court seat, the commission had to recount 1.5 million votes — about half the 2.975 million ballot votes that were cast during the 2016 presidential election.

“The commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for president of the United States, as requested by these candidates,” Haas added. Christine wrote yesterday how Stein pushed back the fundraising goal post, adding that this whole exercise looks like a giant fundraising scheme for the Green Party. Now, the former chair of the FEC said that he doubts the funds raised by Stein could be used for anything other than the recount effort, but this is just absolute cruelty being inflicted on Democrats by the Greens.

It’s tapping into the Kool-Aid of the liberal bubble that truly thinks something went wrong for Clinton to lose, because why wouldn’t a candidate, who is a liar, untrustworthy, dishonest, widely unpopular, and ignored millions of voters lose an election? Clinton’s entire narrative for her email server was a lie, her inability to actually own it only further destroyed her trust numbers with voters (and it mattered), the more she talked or was seen, the more people hated her, and she decided that white working class voters weren’t worth it. On top of that, her campaign thought the Obama people would turn out for her in record numbers, and that this unbeatable coalition would trounce Trump over his past colorful remarks. Nope. Millions of Obama voters flipped for Trump, Clinton’s own turnout operation may have driven Trump supporters to the polls, and many Democrats in the famed Blue Wall states stayed home. It’s that last part that the Left doesn’t seem to get.

She lost, guys. Even Philip Bump and Dave Weigel at The Washington Post noted that a) we’ve all seen this movie before with the same results; b) a recount wouldn’t unearth these shoddy allegations of voter fraud; and c) Clinton simply lost because she couldn’t get people energized in the areas that ultimately mattered. As with anything where competition is a factor, upsets can occur:

Via Philip Bump:

Clinton lost the election because it was close enough in those Midwestern states for her to lose. Because, as Nate Silver was noting even before Election Day, her firewall in those states was much shakier than it was for Barack Obama. Because her get-out-the-vote operation was not all it was cracked up to be.

She lost, in other words, because she got fewer votes where it counted. That was a surprise, and surprises can be awfully hard to accept.

Via Weigel:

The Green Party has done this before, to little result. In 2004, when many Democrats asked whether Ohio had been lost to voter suppression, the Green Party teamed up with the Libertarian Party to pay for a recount. David Cobb, the then-presidential candidate for the Green Party, had not even appeared on Ohio's ballot, but he helped raise $150,000 to start the recount process. “Due to widespread reports of irregularities in the Ohio voting process,” said Cobb and Michael Badnarik, the then-presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, “we are compelled to demand a recount of the Ohio presidential vote. Voting is the heart of the democratic process in which we as a nation put our faith.”

The result: Democrat John F. Kerry gained a bit less than 300 votes on George W. Bush, making virtually no difference in the margin.

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The inspiration for the recount: Theories ranging from sketchy to debunked. In 2004, Greg Palast was the most prominent of several analysts arguing that more Ohio voters intended to elect Kerry than Bush, but enough ballots were rejected and spoiled to stop them. He did similar work in the run-up to 2016, warning that voter suppression was going to “steal the vote” in key states.

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Palast has celebrated and promoted the new effort, which could turn up additional votes as ballots are re-scanned. But the recount won attention because of an unrelated theory: That electronic voting machines might have been attacked by hackers. The Twitter hashtag #AuditTheVote was trending days before the Stein campaign began, and stories of how machines could be hacked have begun being shared again.

But voting machines can't be hacked from afar, and the people with the most to lose — Democrats, who literally lost — haven't been convinced that machines were hacked. They closely monitored Election Day, with volunteers at every swing state polling place, as is customary.

The Greens themselves have not endorsed any theory of what went wrong. The closest they've come was in Stein's RT interview, where she said “reports have come in from cyber experts, from security experts and others.” There you go.

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If the election were hacked, a recount couldn't prove it. Most of Pennsylvania voters use DRE (direct record electronic) machines, with no paper ballot whatsoever. In other races where those machines have been probed — like Virginia's 2005 attorney general contest — the recount has consisted of the machine results simply being scanned again. The lost/spoiled votes Palast has talked about are not part of that system. (Meanwhile, nearly every Michigan vote has a paper record.)

Weigel added that even Clintonites feel this is a colossal waste of time. In short, where Clinton did poorly, rural counties used electronic ballots, whereas the urban areas used paper. Nate Cohn of The New York Times tweeted that Trump did well in Minnesota and he won Iowa decisively, both of which use paper ballots. So, there’s nothing suspicious going on here, folks. It’s a bunch of losers trying to keep this notion that Trump didn’t win alive. It’s just getting to be sad at this point.