Clinton campaign says it will take part in efforts to push for recounts
WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Saturday it will take part in efforts to push for recounts in several key states, joining with Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has raised millions of dollars to have votes counted again in Wisconsin.
But, in a post on Medium, Marc Elias, the campaign’s counsel, said the campaign’s own investigation has not uncovered any evidence of hacking of voting systems.
In the campaign’s most detailed comments to date on the recount, Elias wrote that while the campaign was not going to contest the results itself, it has decided now to take part in the effort to “ensure that it is fair to all sides.”
Green Party officials filed Friday for a recount in Wisconsin after reports of voting discrepancies.
Wisconsin Green Party co-chairman George Martin said that the party was seeking a “reconciliation of paper records” — a request that would go one step further than a simple recount and he hope would spur an investigation into the integrity of the state’s voting system.
“This is a process, a first step to examine whether our electoral democracy is working,” Martin said.
Elias said the campaign had been quietly investigating accusations for a while and had received hundreds of requests that it do so.
“Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but 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,” Elias wrote on Medium.
“If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well,” he added.
In addition to Donald Trump’s total combined margin of victory in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania being only about 107,000 votes, Elias said concerns about Russia’s interference in the election continue to raise concerns.
“This election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials, and just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the “fake news” propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election,” he wrote.
The campaign has met with lawyers, data scientists and analysts to asses anomalies in the results that would suggest a hacked result. Private meetings with outside experts involved sharing both groups concerns about the data and findings.
Clinton’s team said they investigated every theory presented and examined laws and practices pertaining to recounts, contests and audits.
“And most importantly, we have monitored and staffed the post-election canvasses — where voting machine tapes are compared to poll-books, provisional ballots are resolved, and all of the math is double checked from election night,” Elias said. “During that process, we have seen Secretary Clinton’s vote total grow, so that, today, her national popular vote lead now exceeds more than 2 million votes.”
The campaign plans to move forward in monitoring activities to better understand the results.
“In the coming days, we will continue to perform our due diligence and actively follow all further activities that are to occur prior to the certification of any election results,” he said.
It is “unfortunate” that all states don’t conduct “post-election” audits.
“Wisconsin and Pennsylvania conduct post-election audits using a sampling of precincts. Michigan and many other states still do not,” Elias wrote. “This is unfortunate; it is our strong belief that, in addition to an election canvass, every state should do this basic audit to ensure accuracy and public confidence in the election.”
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.