Saturday, November 26, 2016

Clinton Camp Will Join Recount Push

Who knows where a recount in three key swing states - Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania - will lead, but at this point I support almost anything that could save the nation from the nightmare of a Donald Trump presidency.  The thought of Trump appointing Supreme Court justices even as he uses the office of the presidency to further enrich himself is stomach wrenching.  Given the unprecedented evidence of Russian efforts to influence the election in favor of Trump, if nothing else the recount will confirm that hacking did not occur.  The down side of that result, of course, is that the foulness and mindlessness of 25% of American's registered voters would be confirmed. The New York Times looks at the recount effort.  Here are excerpts:
The top lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid said Saturday that the campaign would join a third-party candidate’s effort to seek a full recount in Wisconsin, and potentially two other states, though he said the campaign had seen no “actionable evidence” of vote hacking.
In a post on Medium, Marc Elias, the campaign’s general counsel, described an intensive behind-the-scenes effort by the campaign to look for signs of Russian hacker activity or other irregularities in the vote count.
The essay suggested that the campaign was joining the recount effort with little expectation that it would change the result. But many of the campaign’s supporters, picking up on its frequent complaints of Russian interference in the election, have enthusiastically backed the recount effort led by Jill Stein, who was the Green Party candidate.
Ms. Stein filed for a recount in Wisconsin on Friday afternoon, about an hour before the deadline.
“Now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.”
Should Ms. Stein pursue additional recounts, “we will take the same approach in those states as well,” he wrote. But he noted that the “number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount.”
Mr. Trump issued a statement on Saturday calling the recount push “ridiculous” and “a scam by the Green Party.”
The Obama administration issued a statement to The New York Times on Friday in response to questions about intelligence findings related to Russian interference in the election. In the statement, it said it had concluded that the election had been free of interference.
The administration issued a second statement on Saturday saying that “the federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyberactivity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on Election Day.”
Now Mrs. Clinton finds herself in a difficult position of not wanting to lead the charge for a recount that Democrats believe will go nowhere, but also not wanting to abandon supporters who have donated to Ms. Stein’s last-ditch effort.
Mr. Elias’s post offered a revealing look at how much time and energy the campaign has spent in the past two weeks looking for evidence of Russian hacking or other irregularities, and how it has tried to keep those efforts secret.
“Since the day after the election, we have had lawyers and data scientists and analysts combing over the results to spot anomalies that would suggest a hacked result,” Mr. Elias wrote.
“Most of those discussions have remained private, while at least one has unfortunately been the subject of leaks,” he wrote, a reference to conversations between Mr. Podesta and a group of experts that included J. Alex Halderman, a computer scientist with deep experience in the vulnerabilities of voting systems.

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