The American people deserve to know that the outcome of this election is actually valid
I am tired of hearing the pundits say that the election is over and there is nothing we can do when there are significant questions raised by the recounts that have been going on in Michigan Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as well issues raised in a recent suit seeking a recount in Florida.
Hillary Clinton has garnered almost 3 million more popular votes than Donald Trump. The polls and exit polls in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania showed Clinton was the winner. The recount efforts by the Stein campaign have exposed that many votes remained uncounted at the time these States were called for Trump and raised many concerns about the validity of the outcome before the CIA reported the intent of the Russians to influence the results of the election. Under these circumstances it is absolutely imperative that before the electors are certified and the votes of the Electoral College counted there be a full recount and investigation into potential hacking in these States.
While States generally have been granted the right to set the rules of the election and terms of re-counts what has happened to the efforts in the three States is alarming. In each State there have been substantial outcome determinative questions raised by the initial investigations but there have been many objections raised and appeals filed. The Stein efforts are technically not over but they may have hit a roadblock.
In Michigan, where the margin is about 10,000 votes the preliminary results of the recount before the Court stopped it showed a 75,000 presidential under vote with 28,000 being in the Detroit/Flint area where the scanning machines did not pick up a vote for president. These votes need to be hand-counted.
In Wisconsin the different precincts and Counties were given the right to choose the method of recount. Trump has a 10,700 vote lead in Wisconsin. 51%, or a majority of the voting machines, were not hand counted. In Milwaukee County the vote was recounted by the same machines which counted the votes initially and the codes to determine whether there were problems in the programming of the machines were not held in escrow by the State as required and the company which created the codes is now refusing to turn them over to the State.
In Pennsylvania where, as a result of actually counting more votes, Trump’s lead was almost cut in half, 70% of the precincts use voting machines which do not have a paper trail from which to ensure confirm the votes. My understanding is that the Court will not allow recounts in any precincts until three voters in the precinct present affidavits to support the recount. There are 9000 precincts. Thus, only 30% of the precincts could be hand-recounted. It is also unclear the codes of the paperless machines will be made available to investigate whether they were subjected to tampering.
In the last few weeks since the recount has gone on, Donald Trump has selected for cabinet posts persons who are in total opposition to the laws they are being asked to enforce (e.g. Pruitt at EPA, DeVos at Education, Puzder at Labor). Trump’s stated opposition to Wall Street has proven false with four high level appointees coming from Goldman Sachs. After opposing cuts to Social Security Medicare or Medicaid, he appears to be supporting privatizing Social Security and Medicare and block granting Medicaid. Senator Sessions at Justice has a checkered past with hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. From seeking to repeal New Deal legislation to promoting fossil fuels to accelerate climate change, to privatizing education and giving more money to the one per cent, the amount of radical change the President-elect is seeking to enact should make it even more imperative that there is absolute certainty as to who is the actual winner of the election.
So far the Stein campaign has spent millions of dollars on recounts which have been hit with obstacles and push back by the Trump campaign. But the efforts raised many questions about the validity of the outcome being given to Trump. The American people have the right to ensure under the circumstances that a full investigation and verification of the vote be undertaken before the States certify the electors.