Perhaps that “blue wall” held after all. Or maybe the Defiance election-rigging plotline from Scandal has really come to life.
In the last week, prominent computer scientists and election lawyers have been urging the Hillary Clinton campaign to challenge election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three swing states that Donald Trump won, ceding him the election.
New York magazine reports that the group, which includes voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, believe that they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in the three states may have been “manipulated or hacked.”
At issue was the oddity that Clinton’s vote count in precincts that used electronic machines was down 7 percent compared with counties that relied on paper ballots. Though not definitely proving any fraud, the group said, this is enough for an independent review—especially in light of the fact that the Obama administration has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee computers.
The group reportedly had a call with prominent officials in the Clinton campaign last week to present their findings. There is only a small window of time in which to challenge the results; the deadline in Wisconsin to file for a recount is Friday; in Pennsylvania, it’s Monday; and Michigan’s is next Wednesday.
Early this morning, Green Party candidate Jill Stein announced that her campaign had raised the money necessary to file for recounts. Once Stein’s #Recount2016 fundraiser went up, she quickly raised the funds, and as of Thursday morning she had raised more than $3.1 million.
“After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable. These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified. We deserve elections we can trust,” said Stein in a statement.
According to the New York Daily News, current tallies place Trump ahead of Clinton by 58 Electoral College votes—a count that does not include Michigan’s 16 votes because the state has still been deemed too close to call.
If Stein successfully challenges Michigan and Wisconsin, Clinton’s total would become 258. If Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, is also successfully challenged, Clinton would surpass the 270 votes required to clinch the presidential nomination.
The irony is that Trump and many of his supporters said this election may be “rigged.” In the words of great journalist Charles Blow, is this more “psychological projection”?
The Clinton campaign has not yet commented on Stein’s actions or on the computer scientists’ claims.