Saturday, November 26, 2016

Here we go again

It seems Jill Stein is feeling a bit of guilt over the election results and has raised enough money to demand a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  On Friday, she officially filed a petition for a recount in Wisconsin.  She like so many others never thought Trump had a chance, but now that the damage is done would like to see Hillary in the White House.

Jill had hoped to siphon Berniecrats away from Hillary during the campaign and managed to win about one per cent of the vote nationwide.  Her 31,000 votes in Wisconsin would have been enough to give Hillary the victory, assuming all her backers would have shifted their allegiance.  The same was true in Michigan, where the difference between Trump and Clinton was even less.  Her votes would not have made up the difference in Pennsylvania.

So now here she is demanding a recount be made because some computer geeks in Michigan think that the electronic voting machines may have been tampered with.  They have no proof of this.  They are basing their assumption on the difference of results between counties that used traditional ballots vs. those that used electronic ballots, and noted a 7 per cent differential in results.  It does raise eyebrows, but will the electronic ballots be counted any differently this time?

The other thing to consider is that Wisconsin and Michigan both have Republican administrations, so even if discrepancies are found, we are very likely to see a situation much like in 2000 when Jeb Bush chose to stop the recount and declare his brother the winner before the December 19 deadline.  An infamous decision that was eventually held up by a study conducted by news organizations.

Judging by Michigan, the closest of the three states, Hillary made up very little ground in absentee ballots which would appear to indicate that there was no tampering with the machines in that state.  She still came up 10,700 votes short, a net gain of only 2500 votes.  As much as many of us would love to change the outcome of this election, it doesn't look like it is going to happen.

Still, there is a certain poetic justice in questioning the results, since Trump went out of his way to cast doubt months in advance, claiming that the election would be rigged.  He specifically targeted these states, so maybe there is something to his claims and that these states do need looking into.

Assuming there was some tampering, it was probably done within razor sharp margins so as not to draw unwanted attention.  That means it will take a very close examination to reveal irregularities, which could take months and see Trump installed as President in the meantime.  If irregularities are found and it is enough to reverse results, we would see a scandal that would make Watergate seem like child's play.

More likely, the votes that would have gone to Hillary in the Upper Midwest appear to have fled these states, judging by her overall popular vote lead that now exceeds 2 million, a 1.5 per cent differential.  In the end, national turnout was a little higher than it was in 2012 with Hillary getting more than 64 million votes, roughly on par with Obama's 65 million in the last election.  The problem is that she didn't get those votes where she needed them most.  This is why we should get rid of this insidious electoral college, which allows key states to become players in a national election, when every vote should count exactly the same.

1 comment:

  1. The ball has started to roll, as Hillary joins Jill in petitioning for a recount in Wisconsin,