Tuesday 6 December 2016

Greens raise funds for recount in Wisconsin

Clinton could yet win presidency if claims of irregularities are proven

Barney Henderson New York

Published 25/11/2016 | 02:30

President-elect Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump

Wisconsin is poised to hold a recount after the Green Party's US presidential candidate led a $4m fundraising drive following claims of voting irregularities in three key swing states which may have helped Donald Trump win the election.

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In less than 24 hours, Jill Stein raised $3.8m (¤3.6m) online and has instructed lawyers to file today for a recount in Wisconsin, and Michigan and Pennsylvania next week.

Mr Trump won all three by around one per cent despite Hillary Clinton leading in almost all opinion polls in those states.

A group of computer scientists and election lawyers claim to have found evidence the results may have been manipulated.

"We're not doing this because we expect the results to be overturned or because there's a smoking gun," Dr Stein said. "We are doing it because the American people deserve to have confidence in the voting system."

Mrs Clinton fared 7pc worse in Wisconsin counties that used electronic voting machines rather than paper ballots and, despite a lack of any evidence, a cyber attack on the machines has been suggested as a possible explanation.

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

The White House has confirmed that Russian hackers infiltrated the computers of the Democratic National Committee during the election campaign and potentially that of a top adviser to Mrs Clinton.

"This was a hacked election - party databases, individuals - there is no doubt there was a lot of hacking around this election and voting equipment is vulnerable to cyber attacks," Dr Stein said.

"The fact is the outcome was very close in those three states, a very small margin of victory. This is something positive we're doing to ensure the integrity of the voting system and restore people's faith."

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While reversing the outcomes in all three states would hand the election to Mrs Clinton, Dr Stein said the recount bid was non-partisan. It would not benefit her personally, as she won less than 1.4 million votes overall.

While Mr Trump has won 306 electoral college votes, compared with 232 for Mrs Clinton, she has nearly two million more votes than him nationwide and pressure is mounting among liberals for a full investigation.

Mr Trump claimed throughout the campaign that the process was "rigged" against him and that he would not commit to accepting the final result. "Look who 'can't accept the election results'," Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, tweeted yesterday.

As a result of Dr Stein's fundraising, the Wisconsin Elections Commission said it was preparing for a recount, but insisted there was no evidence that voting equipment had been tampered with.

The process is expected to be long and complex, with paperless voting machines across dozens of districts being impounded and subjected to forensic analysis.

"We expect it to go to court and there will be challenges along the way," Dr Stein said. But she added: "There is so much pent-up desire for this sort of initiative, and that has to come to the fore."

Earlier, Mr Trump offered a Thanksgiving prayer for unity after "a long and bruising" campaign.

"Emotions are raw and tensions just don't heal overnight," the president elect said in a video message released on the eve of the national holiday.

"It's my prayer that, on this Thanksgiving, we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country strengthened by shared purpose and very, very common resolve."

Meanwhile, last night the head of the World Trade Organisation said the impact of Mr Trump's threat to pull the United States out of the Trans- Pacific Partnership would depend on what the president elect saw as the alternative.

WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo said he hadn't spoken with Mr Trump but was "ready for a conversation".

Mr Trump has called the TPP a "disaster" for American jobs.

Irish Independent

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