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Voting Rights Activists Urge Clinton To Challenge PA, MI And WI Vote Counts

Leading computer scientists suspect there are some real problems with the vote in states where Trump won by razor-thin margins
Voting Rights Activists Urge Clinton To Challenge PA, MI And WI Vote Counts

According to Gabe Sherman, a group of concerned voting-rights advocates and computer scientists are urging the Clinton campaign to challenge the results in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, J. Alex Halderman, were part of a group which held a conference call with John Podesta and other Clinton campaign officials to press them toward forcing a recount in those states.

Last Thursday, the activists held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case, according to a source briefed on the call. The academics presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000. While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee.

According to current tallies, Trump has won 290 Electoral College votes to Clinton’s 232, with Michigan’s 16 votes not apportioned because the race there is still too close to call. It would take overturning the results in both Wisconsin (10 Electoral College votes) and Pennsylvania (20 votes), in addition to winning Michigan’s 16, for Clinton to win the Electoral College. There is also the complicating factor of “faithless electors,” or members of the Electoral College who do not vote according to the popular vote in their states. At least six electoral voters have said they would not vote for Trump, despite the fact that he won their states.

As it pertains to Wisconsin, some rather disturbing anomalies surfaced last night in the spreadsheets published for Outagamie County. In three separate instances, the sum of the votes for Clinton and Trump exceeded the number of ballots cast. This raised the eyebrows of many, who also noted that the one precinct with paper ballots went to Clinton. Further, the discrepanies only occurred in the results for the Presidential race, and when corrected, caused Trump to win by a substantially lower margin than they originally showed.

Apparently the White House doesn't want any challenges to the vote. I completely, wholeheartedly disagree with this.

Also complicating matters, a senior Clinton adviser said, is that the White House, focused on a smooth transfer of power, does not want Clinton to challenge the election result.

If these experts have identified patterns which should be more closely examined, it is within our rights as citizens in this democracy to call for an examination and audit of the vote in those states -- full stop. It could be that such an audit will show that the vote did indeed go for Trump. Or not. We need to know.

Update:

Election law expert Rick Hasen weighs in:

Without public evidence on the record to examine it is hard to really evaluate this claim other than by looking at the credibility of the people involved. Halderman is very credible, and if he says there are anomalies that deserve investigation, they should be investigated. But the fact that this group has gone to Elias and Podesta, and so far the campaign has said nothing since learning of it last Thursday, should give you pause. Time has just about run out. Claiming a hacked or rigged election is about as explosive a claim as one could make—-especially coming after Trump made unsupported allegations of vote rigging throughout the election. If there’s a realistic chance of anything here that could be proven to affect the election outcome, you have to trust Clinton’s legal team to advance it (or have advanced it already).

He has more to say in that post about some of the more outlandish theories flying around, too.

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