Pennsylvania Fights Green Party Recount Bid In Federal Court

Dec 8, 2016

 

 

A ballot with a vote for Donald J. Trump is shown during a statewide presidential election recount in Waterford Township, Mich., Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. The recount comes at the request of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who also requested recounts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Credit Paul Sancya / AP

Pennsylvania election officials want a federal judge to throw out a Green Party-backed lawsuit that seeks a recount of paper ballots cast in Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 presidential election and an inspection to make sure election software wasn't hacked.

Thursday's court filing says Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein lacks the necessary standing to challenge the election result because any change won't make her the winner. The state's lawyers also call it "rank speculation" to suggest that Russian hackers somehow flipped the vote.

U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia has scheduled a hearing Friday on the request for a recount. The Republican Party and Donald Trump warned that the case threatens Pennsylvania's ability to certify its election before the Dec. 13 federal deadline. Stein's team hasn't produced evidence of hacking, but calls Pennsylvania's election system "a national disgrace."

Trump's lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton is about 44,000 out of more than 6 million votes cast in Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit is part of a broader effort by Stein to recount votes in states where Trump won narrowly, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Stein got about 1 percent or less in those states.

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MICHIGAN

A recount that started Monday ended Wednesday night. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith set aside his earlier order that got the recount moving, acting after the state appeals court said Stein doesn't qualify as an "aggrieved" candidate under Michigan law.

"This is a victory for the taxpayers and voters of Michigan," said Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairman of the state Republican Party.

The state elections board said the recount would stop after Goldsmith's decision. Trump won Michigan by about 10,700 votes over Clinton. More than 20 counties started recounting ballots, and more were poised to start Thursday. Roughly 4.8 million ballots were cast.

Goldsmith said Stein raised serious issues about the integrity of Michigan's election system. But he said she offered "speculative claims" and "not actual injury."

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WISCONSIN

The recount is more than 82 percent complete in Wisconsin, and Clinton has gained just 61 votes on Trump, who won the state by more than 22,000 votes.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission reported Thursday that 47 of 72 counties had completed their work and that the others are on track to finish by next week's deadline. More than 2.4 million votes out of the nearly 3 million cast have been recounted.

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NEVADA

A partial recount is underway in Nevada at the request of independent presidential candidate Roque De La Fuente, who finished last with a fraction of 1 percent of the vote. He paid about $14,000 for the recount to provide what he called a counterbalance to the recounts sought by Stein.

Most of the 92 precincts being re-counted are in the Las Vegas area, with eight of the precincts in four other counties.

If the sample shows a discrepancy of at least 1 percent for De La Fuente or Clinton, a full recount will be launched in all 17 Nevada counties.

Clinton defeated Trump in Nevada by 27,202 votes, out of 1.1 million votes cast.

Nevada Secretary of State spokeswoman Gail Anderson said the recount will be finished by Friday.

Associated Press writers Ed White in Detroit; Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.