Everybody wants a recount

Written By: - Date published: 8:38 am, November 29th, 2016 - 100 comments
Categories: elections, International, making shit up, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

trump-furor

Hot on the heels of news of Jill Stein’s recount application now supported by Hillary Clinton comes some twitter activity from the POTUS with the mostest suggesting that he too believes that America’s democratic system is broken.

There is a lot of evidence suggesting that the system is broken which I touched on in this post. There are also concerns that the three rust belt states’ results in the recent election may have been manipulated. From New York magazine:

Hillary Clinton is being urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump, New York has learned. 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, believes they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked. The group is so far not speaking on the record about their findings and is focused on lobbying the Clinton team in private.

Last Thursday, the activists held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case, according to a source briefed on the call. The academics presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000. While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee.

Jill Stein was obviously concerned by the information.  She has fundraised over $4.5 million and has filed recount applications based on “compelling evidence of voting anomalies” and data analysis that suggests “significant discrepancies in vote totals”.

Nate Silver has performed some analysis and believes that demographic changes, not more nefarious reasons, can explain the result.  But he supports the recount on the basis that it could reveal information about the US voting systems that will suggest how it can be improved.

So how did Trump respond?  On Twitter of course.

I look forward to the investigation into the electoral system as a whole which must now occur.  After all if anyone can get to the bottom of such serious allegations about the US electoral system it would be the president.

So what evidence does Trump have?  It seems none.  His aides have been questioned and have come up with no examples.

From New Yorker:

There is no credible evidence to support [the assertion of widespread voter fraud]. Furthermore, there is no credible evidence of large-scale voter fraud occurring in the United States, nor any credible evidence of any large-scale voter fraud having occurred in the 2016 election. Most claims to the contrary have originated on right-wing websites and those claims have not stood up to scrutiny, like an article on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s InfoWars website, which falsely claimed that 3 million undocumented immigrants voted illegally this year.

The worry is that this may be the beginning of a purge on electoral rolls that will make past Republican efforts look temperate.

It is odd that someone who does not believe in climate change despite the overwhelming evidence that it is occurring should believe that widespread electoral fraud happens despite there being no evidence whatsoever that it exists.

But we can be assured that even though Trump is a climate change denier, will probably be the most corrupt President ever, will trash international treaties and agreements and will terrorise everyone not actually born in America but who lives there, at least he will not have a private email server. That we know of.

100 comments on “Everybody wants a recount”

  1. Ad 1

    May or may not have a private email server, but certainly has private tax accounts.
    Maybe it will take decades to find out, maybe he’s a Nixon. But it’s sure going to be entertaining to watch.

  2. Andre 2

    Trump may not have a private e-mail server (that we know of), but he does have a history of destroying documents and e-mails after court orders to produce them.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2016/11/11/donald-trump-companies-destroyed-emails-documents-515120.html

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Were those government documents covered by the FOIA that he destroyed, like Hillary did?

      Did he destroy those materials after receiving a Congressional preservation subpoena, like Hillary did?

      Did he lie about destroying those documents and emails to a Congressional panel, like Hillary did?

      Did he sign an OF-109 declaration form saying that he had properly turned over all such information, documents and emails like Hillary did?

      Trump may not have a private e-mail server (that we know of)

      Trump has lots of private email servers, throughout all his businesses. Bet you he won’t do the business of the Oval Office on them once he is in office though.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Your boy won. The focus is now on him. Equivalence to what Hillary may or may not have done doesn’t matter any more, she’s not the president-elect and will never be president. What matters is what Trump did and will do. Get used to it.

        Hillary lost. She’s now history. Let go of the hate.

        • Infused 2.1.1.1

          It’s not hate. It’s dumbarse who think Hillary is good and some how Trump is the root of all evil. Wake the fuck up.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1.1.1

            Trump doesn’t need to be “the root of all evil” to be a problem. He just needs to be a risk of corrupt or unethical behaviour in government.

            He’s already such a serious risk for conflict of interest that people are calling on the electoral college not to vote for him if he doesn’t sell his assets and put the results into a blind trust. You don’t need to be in the tank for Hillary to find that concerning.

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        It was a facetious comment by me because I thought that the whole server issue was such a waste of time. Hillary having a private mail server somehow makes her worse than her climate change denying crypto fascist opponent?

        EDIT and as Andre says justifying Trump’s behaviour because someone else is somehow even worse is a strange justification.

        • marty mars 2.1.2.1

          + 1 to you both

          Yep let go of the hate cv. Clinton is yesterday’s news. Trump da man under the election microscope now.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1

            Sure, but I’ll point out whenever you try and pin your double standards on Trump that you let Clinton get away scott free with.

            • marty mars 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Talk to your boy cos he’s all buddy buddy with them again – one of his flip flops.

            • mickysavage 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Que? Point out where I supported Clinton. I always supported Sanders.

              • Colonial Viper

                That’s why I started labelling people “Clinton Preferrers”.

                People who spent 98% of their critical energy attacking Trump and maybe 2% or less of their critical energy attacking Clinton.

                But who still tried to make out that no siree, they weren’t Clinton supporters.

                • mickysavage

                  But Clinton is not POTUS. Why should I attack her? Rather strange arbitrary test to apply. How about we work out if Trump is ok or not and then comment? As far as I am concerned he is about 98% bad so far …

              • Quasimodo

                Sanders is starting to look good now that Clinton is gone and Trump has the electoral college, barring surprises. I hope Chomsky will be around to see it. Corbyn might become more electable if Brexit unravels. If a day is a long time in politics, what does that make four years ?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.2

          Hillary having a private mail server somehow makes her worse than her climate change denying crypto fascist opponent?

          As I mentioned previously, it’s not the matter of the server:

          WHY did Clinton need to keep her emails off official systems and away from State Dept and FOIA oversight?

          WHY did Clinton not ask the State Dept to set up a secure remote server at her residence (the State Dept is used to doing this for every US onsulate and embassy in the world)?

          WHY did Clinton lie about her server to Congress and destroy evidence that Congress requested?

          climate change denying crypto fascist opponent?

          Americans decided on that rather than Hillary Clinton. That’s how weak a candidate the Democrats chose, and how incompetent their election campaign was.

          • marty mars 2.1.2.2.1

            Blah blah blah blah Clinton lost – yep we know, and it isn’t news buddy

          • mickysavage 2.1.2.2.2

            You are reinforcing Andre’s and my point about your obsession with Clinton.

            Another question. What do you think about Trump’s claim that there were millions of illegal votes cast.

            • Andre 2.1.2.2.2.1

              Maybe the recounts will shed some light on illegal votes (or lack thereof).

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.2.2.2

              Sorry, but Clinton Preferrers appear to be the ones who need to get over the fact that the campaign is over, the election is over and their woman lost.

              Also it seems to me that lefties (including Jill Stein) would not be bothering in the slightest with this recounts/litigation rigmarole if Clinton had won.

              • Andre

                Oh, nice sidestep of Micky’s question. Here it is again.

                What do you think about Trump’s claim that there were millions of illegal votes cast?

                • Colonial Viper

                  He’s spinning to the biases of both the Trump base and also the Republican base that some of the 10M to 15M illegals in the USA may have voted or tried to vote.

                  • Andre

                    In other words, he’s just outright lying?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s spin. Just like Clinton saying that anyone who disputed the results of the election would be “horrifying” is spin.

                    • Andre

                      Spin used to mean putting the most favourable possible interpretation on acknowledged facts. Has the meaning of spin now changed to include making assertions contradictory to all known evidence, ie outright lying?

                    • mickysavage

                      So its all ok because Clinton may or may not have done it too. Such a low threshold …

          • lprent 2.1.2.2.3

            I always love the way that you deflect rather than dealing with the issues others raise. It is so pointless.

            But more importantly it is simply appears to just be disruptive. After all I don’t think that the post even mentioned Clinton. It certainly wasn’t the focus of the post. However you appear to have deliberately gone out of your way to male it the topic of the comments.

            At this point, subject to some astonishing evidence that I doubt anyone really expects, Clinton is pretty irrelevant.

            If you continue to disrupt every post on the US like this, then you may be as well. Count this as being your last warning.

            EDIT: It appears that the post did after rereading. It had two points about her. Clinton didn’t take up a recount option, and then belatedly supported one that someone else was paying for.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.2.3.1

              But more importantly it is simply appears to just be disruptive. After all I don’t think that the post even mentioned Clinton.

              I happen to think that the Clinton campaign smashing away at Trump in October for his threatening not to accept the election results, and smashing away at him in October for his claiming that the elections are rigged, is relevant to this post.

              Especially now that it appears that people linked to her campaign are supporting the idea that certain election results are not acceptable as they stand, and that the reason that they may not be acceptable is because they may have been rigged (by the Russians).

              [lprent: I don’t and nor do I think that you have even bothered to argue that. All I see you doing is a set of assertions in the manner of a troll that carry no backing apart from your spin, don’t bother arguing anything apart from what you appear to have made up, and you don’t bother dealing with the statements from the side that you are asserting has the ulterior motivations.

              You appear to be implicitly arguing that Jill Stein has no right to ask for (and pay for) recounts when she clearly does have the right to do so. However I can’t even see where you have even referred to Jill Stein. Instead you appear to be directing everything at Hillary Clinton who hasn’t asked for any recounts and belatedly supported the recounts that were already underway. In short, your argument appears to be complete crap.

              I’m tired of having to deal with this kind of stupidity and it is clear that you are planning on continuing on this path. Ok…

              Banned from commenting until 2016-12-27. That will keep me from having to deal with it while I’m offshore and the chaos of xmas while jet-lagged. It should also get past the electoral college. ]

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                Bye Felicia

              • AmaKiwi

                @ lprent

                Thanks for that ban.

                • One Two

                  That’s a weak, selfish comment to make

                  CV’s comments have been more accurate and relevant with the points he makes than all but a very few commentators here, IMO

                  The abuse levelled at CV has been cowardly,misplaced and hypocritical. By applauding the ban serves only to extend that trend and without CV even able to respond

                  His comment regarding Clinton and her campaign tailgating or possibly even leading from behind with the ‘recount’ is simply a logical observation, regardless of ‘true or false’

                  Because you can’t understand or disagree with CVs comments, does not afford you the leeway to openly approve of the ban…

                  Poor form at best!

                  • mickysavage

                    Nope he has been trolling. His arguments are full of weird equivalences and no justification of Trump’s positions from a left wing perspective.

                    • One Two

                      ….”From a left wing perspective”…..

                      Nope, that bias, prejudice and hypocrisy of the ‘left wing perspective’ seemingly unable to accept that by engaging in asinine right/left positioning with regards to the US election left the door wide open for Trump ‘to happen’

                      Reading comments regarding the election (ongoing) serves only to highlight the inadequacy of ‘left wing perspective’

                      The abuse, bully tactics and hypicrisy has been shameful/shameless and from what I’ve observed, openly and tacitly encouraged against CV, mostly, but a small number of others as well. If CV fired back by ‘tr*lling’ (and thats subjective) , perhaps it was to fly in the face of the abuse , bullying and hypocrisy which dominates, here

                      Making weak excuses such as “been tr*llling”, illustrates further the left wing perspective of a significant number of commentators who also author, commentate and administrate this site

                      If ‘the left wing perspective’ is hoping to gain traction with such an approach through vehicles such as this blog, there is going to be generations of ‘right’ to contend with in NZ , and I highly doubt that ‘left wing perspective’ will have figured out WHY!

                      CV seems to have figured out why, along with a rare few, who also post on this blog. In my opinion those contributions are beneficial and opportunities for others to question their own motives

                      Others need to figure out why they can’t see the obvious issues of their own making, if it’s genuine progress that is a ‘true’ outcome they seek!

                    • North

                      It’s been a problem from day one in my view. A dismissive, hectoring, cowboyish departure from consistent values and a seeming belief on CV’s part that he is royalty around TS with unique licence.

                      From analysis…….to outright and virulent support of Trump the person. A weird metamorphosis in a commenter whom from one pose to the other continues to stoutly claim innate left wing appreciation to a spectacularly superior level.

                      Of course that excites questions and generates comment about CV wherein CV = ‘Contradictory Values’ garishly exhorted in favour of Trump the person.

                      CV chose to proceed as though specially entitled. No one forced him to putrify analysis initially offered.

                    • I think it’s reasonably clear that CV has decided he’s no longer interested in a specifically left-wing perspective, (and was sounding increasingly like Peters, lol) and that’s fine. He has been making some valid, if tangental, points about how the Clinton campaign has essentially been a large sucking face-wound on the Democratic Party.

                      But I can absolutely see how it got very trollish and why LPrent decided to be done with it for (most of) the year.

                  • Salsy

                    +1 One Two – Agree wholeheartedly…

                  • gsays

                    well said one two.
                    i have consistently found something in cv’s comments to ponder, not necescarily agree with.

                    for the past few months there has been a constant flow of snide, cheap and unneeded comments aimed at cv.
                    i am yet to see where cv replied in like fashion.

                    chin up cv, i look forward to your return.

                    for goodness sake, this is an election of a foreign figurehead, the amount of furore, abuse and in fighting caused on this site by the election is incredible.

                    where is the focus on an alternative government in aotearoa?

                    in case you think the potus is more than a symbol, let bill hicks enlighten you…(occasional use of strong langauge)
                    youtube.com/watch?v=oMeBgcmTyKA

                    • Olwyn

                      i have consistently found something in cv’s comments to ponder, not necescarily agree with. Me too.

                      I think that the rise of Trump has forced open a much-needed debate, and CV is an enthusiastic participant in it. Given that his is not the only view, and that he can be insistent at times, there is perhaps a case for saying “Mate…let someone else get a word in” but there is no case for dismissing him as a troll.

                      The debate that has opened up has to do with the tension between the social and economic aspects of the left. Its heat has been slowly intensifying since 2008, and it will not be quelled by a cry of “Come on guys. Let’s all unite under a hate-Trump banner.”

                  • mauī

                    +1, 2

                    CVs comments are necessary if we want to be honest with ourselves. Maybe things are being over egged a bit and what he’s saying is obviously toxic for the establishment left.

                    As Chris Martenson said in his latest podcast, the Trump election shows signs of democrats and republicans actually listening to what the other has to say for once, not just talking at and over eachother.

                    A possible way forward for the commentary on here.

      • joe90 2.1.3

        Were those government documents covered by the FOIA that he destroyed, like Hillary did?

        We’ll know soon enough.

        http://www.cjr.org/watchdog/trump_foia_journalism.php

  3. AmaKiwi 3

    Completely changing the computer vote count for the Washington DC election was a piece of cake for three varsity students. It was a class assignment, completed in 48 hours, and great fun. Enjoy.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      Why hasn’t anyone commented on the 3 minute video above?

      The very brief video shows that computerized voting is a fraud. It can be hacked by anyone.

      This recount is essential. Not for Clinton but for the integrity of voting everywhere.

      Wake up, New Zealand!

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Fascinating and scary …

      • alwyn 3.1.2

        I can now understand how they ended up with a Washington DC vote.
        92.8% Clinton, 4.1% Trump.
        Obviously these guys had rigged it on Clinton’s behalf.
        Is Stein wanting such an extreme split to be investigated?
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/2016-election-results/washington-dc/

        • You know what? If you offered Stein and most people backing the recount a national investigation into voting irregularities, I’m sure they would gleefully take it.

          If supporters of either party in the US are defrauding the election system, they deserve to be punished appropriately. Election integrity is more important than determining who wins. And if Trump supporters really believe his insane comments about millions of illegal aliens voting, they should be clamouring for a national-level audit already.

      • Andre 3.1.3

        It seems that the internet voting trial didn’t go ahead. It’s not listed as an option on this link.

        https://ballotpedia.org/Voting_methods_and_equipment_by_state

      • This is what everyone with even a modicum of technical experience has been consistently shouting from the rooftops whenever anyone with any degree of public profile talks about internet voting, and we kept being told “no, we can do it, there are just some problems to be solved.”

        That’s a lovely optimistic view, but it relies on people’s ignorance of the general assymetry of information security. It is much easier to hack into servers than it is to defend them. The best “defense” for online info is basically obscurity.

    • Interesting and serious vid. Voting via internet doesn’t seem viable because of security issues.

  4. james 4

    You go on about Trump having no evidence – yet you say “There are also concerns that the three rust belt states’ results in the recent election may have been manipulated”

    And what backs up this concern???

    “While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation”

    No evidence.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Read the links. The analysis suggests that in some counties using electronic voting machines Clinton’s vote was 7% lower than expected.

      For balance I then linked to Nate Silver’s analysis suggesting that the result is probably from demographic changes rather than something more sinister.

      Then I present Trump’s twitter burp. I have not presented any evidence behind it because even his own people agree there is none.

      Talk about a false equivalence.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        This is a transparent attempt by the left to sabotage the final possible meeting date of the Electoral College electors on Dec 19, and throw the legitimacy of the Trump Administration into doubt.

        Didn’t Clinton decry Trump’s claims during the campaign that the election was rigged and that people needed to pay close attention to what was happening at voting booths?

        Didn’t she also say that it was “horrific” that Trump might not accept the results of the election?

        Two more points:

        1) New Hampshire was won by Clinton more narrowly (only 1%) than some of these states. Why is there no call for a recount there from the Stein and Clinton teams?

        2) Michigan uses only paper ballots, with the results tabulated by optical scanning. None of these systems are connected to the internet, according to state officials. Why is Michigan being lumped in to this recount farce?

        • marty mars 4.1.1.1

          If trump REALLY thought the system was rigged he would continue to want that investigated wouldn’t he. If it was just spin for his followers he wouldn’t. Hmmm what IS he doing now…

        • lprent 4.1.1.2

          Trump is perfectly entitled to pay for a recount in New Hampshire.

          What is your point? That you are being a fool? Or you think that Trump is?

        • Paul Campbell 4.1.1.3

          The legitimacy of the Trump Administration is already in doubt,his opponent got over two million more votes

      • One Two 4.1.2

        …” 7% lower than expected”….

        No evidence!

        That said I put links up some time back about the supposed vulnerability of vertain types electronic voting machines to manipulation (without trace)

        Seems there is now some interest where prior to the election there was not

        Double standards and an obviousness that Stein is not the driving force behind this action

      • Nic the NZer 4.1.3

        Ahem. It wasn’t 7% lower than expected it was 7% lower than some non electronic voting counties.

        If they are lucky there is actually a mechanism for a recount on those machines. But this discrepancy could easily be the result of some accident of where voting machines were used. The last thing anybody would expect is uniform tallies across counties.

      • mikesh 4.1.4

        The discrepancies come from “exit polls” taken. But, while many think that exit polls are not entirely reliable, they are used because no better data is available. In this case however exit polls may be even less reliable than usual because many who voted for Trump may not have wanted to admit to having done so.

  5. Clashman 5

    How do you ‘recount’ electronic votes?

    • lprent 5.1

      There are several separate copies of logs to audit. In most cases there is also a physical paper copy with just the counting done electronically.

      Perhaps you should find a link and read on the various forms of “electronic” voting. I would dig one out, but I suspect that the search will assist your literacy level.

    • lprent 5.2

      In my view as a computer programmer, any electronic or programmatically based voting system should require a physical recount as a mandatory part of the process.

      The only advantage of these types of systems is their speed in the tabulation of results. However they achieve this at the expense of exposing elections to the possibility of hidden widespread fraud.

      Forcing physical audits with a lot of people overseeing and outsider observaction of the recount restores the security.

      I find it difficult to see why anyone would oppose or even criticise checking the vote and auditing it for potential error.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        The only advantage of these types of systems is their speed in the tabulation of results.

        And the serious reduction in the number of people needed to perform an election. All of which means that it would allow referenda more often which means that the people could have a say on which policies get through parliament or even if they even get to first reading.

        In other words, it could be used to get rid of government. Parliament would become an administration enacting the policies that the people want and overseeing the government departments.

        We could also use it to decide how we use the nations resources.

        However they achieve this at the expense of exposing elections to the possibility of hidden widespread fraud.

        They’re already exposed to hidden, widespread fraud. That’s simply the nature of bureaucratic systems and so we put in place processes to prevent it and detect it when it happens.

        The question then becomes: Is electronic voting worth the added risk?

        I believe it is.

        • lprent 5.2.1.1

          The problem is that I can’t see a audit procedure that is likely to work without costing as many or more people and resources as a purely manual vote. What is the point? It just becomes a matter of how to make the “vote” look as ridiculous as possible.

          Just think of ANY online voting that exists now. Basically they demonstrate that the nuts rule because they drive out any sensible debate.

          Personally, I would do my usual test of any software. I’d expend effort to corrupt any programmed voting system – purely to demonstrate the inherent flaws.

          So will damn near EVERY other tech head. The hardest thing will be to agree on just how stupid we want it appear to be. Expect to find out that NZ has Jedi as the state religion, and requires burnings for heretics.

          If a system isn’t robust and verifiable then it isn’t worth supporting. It is better eliminate non operational systems systems early rather than letting spiral out of control over time.

          • Macro 5.2.1.1.1

            Your not alone there:

            From the Guardian comment on the matter:

            Arguing that a manual count of paper ballots was the only way to ensure there had been no outside interference, Professor Ronald Rivest of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology quoted the Russian proverb made famous by president Ronald Reagan: “Trust, but verify.”

            “We have learned the hard way that almost any computer system can be broken into by a sufficiently determined, skillful, and persistent adversary,” said Rivest.

            Professor Dan Wallach of Rice University said it was “entirely reasonable” to suspect that a foreign adversary was capable of a sophisticated and targeted attack on the American electoral process. “They know about battleground states,” he said.

            Wallach cited the US-Israeli hacking of Iran’s nuclear program to argue against skeptics who insist that voter machines cannot have been hacked because they were not connected to the internet.

            “The Stuxnet malware for example was engineered specifically to damage nuclear centrifuges in Iran even though those centrifuges were never connected to the internet,” said Wallach.

            Other experts pointed to more prosaic reasons for holding a full recount by hand.

            Professor Philip Stark, director of statistical computing at the University of California, Berkeley, said that Trump’s winning margin in Wisconsin of about 22,000 could “easily be less” than the errors frequently made by the optical voting systems used in most counties, which scan paper ballots marked by voters.

            “To determine whether the reported winner actually won requires verifying the results as accurately as possible, which in turn requires manually examining the underlying paper records,” said Stark, who wrote a newspaper op-ed with Rivest calling for a review of the election before Stein announced her recount efforts.

            The group who filed affidavits in support of Stein on Monday also included Douglas Jones, an associate professor at University of Iowa, and Harri Hursti, a Finnish expert on the hacking of electronic voter machines.

            • Nic the NZer 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, as they point out the error rate in optical scanners is not zero by any means. Maybe Clinton can find another 30,000 votes on that side?

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.2

            The problem is that I can’t see a audit procedure that is likely to work without costing as many or more people and resources as a purely manual vote.

            Blockchain

            And I’m sure that other technologies will be developed that will enable secure online voting that doesn’t require huge numbers of people to verify.

  6. Olwyn 6

    If this recount is intended to clean up the system, so that in future elections, people can be more confident in its security and accuracy, that is a good thing. But if it’s a last ditch attempt to unseat Trump, inviting a counterattack on the “illegal voter” front, then it is foolish and risks undermining the authority of whoever is president.

    Even if a recount were to deliver the presidency into Clinton’s hands, it will not deliver the senate and congress along with it, and the events that have already unfolded will prevent her from being the president she envisaged being. Moreover, those who feel cheated will feel very cheated indeed. This is something the liberal left now need to get into their heads: when someone gets elected, or even comes close, after you have thrown so much moral ammunition at him, you have lost authority. It is not as if the US electorate has concluded that random pussy-grabbing is OK – it is more that they are no longer so responsive to that particular mode of ostracism. The Liberal left is now in much the same position as the 70’s conservative who cried “but she’s living in sin” and was answered with the 70’s equivalent of “meh”. In short, something really has been lost. That must be faced. Recounts will not bring it back.

    • Andre 6.1

      Yep, the Democrats need to figure and understand why they didn’t get the very few votes that mattered in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan.

      But they should also not forget that Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2 million votes. They shouldn’t allow the American public to forget that either.

      • Olwyn 6.1.1

        Given that Clinton had all of the advantages of insider status, and was up against someone who was broadly ridiculed and vilified, her edge in the popular vote does not add up to a resounding yes.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          I’d agree. The popular vote simply isn’t that relevant unless you are in a debate about changing the electoral system in the US. Elections are run on the basis of what electoral laws are in place at the time of the election.

          It is like trying to argue about the 5% threshold in our election system. It is relevant if you’re involved in a review of the system (the last one was a few years ago now), planning on getting up a referendum, or in other ways trying to get lawmakers to review the law. In the aftermath of an election you could highlight the discrepancies. But to assert that something that isn’t relevant to the results is somehow relevant is pretty daft.

          That is a different debate.

          • Andre 6.1.1.1.1

            Hopefully there will now be a serious debate about getting rid of the Electoral College. It would be a real mistake to drop the ball on that now.

            In American culture, “the will of the people” is a very powerful idea. So when Trump wants to do something particularly obnoxious, the Dems shouldn’t hesitate to use “you may hold power because of the quirks of the system, but you’re 2 million votes short of being the will of the people” as a tool to oppose him. I see Trump’s tweets claiming millions of fraudulent votes as a sign he’s worried his popular vote deficit will be an effective weapon against him, so he’s already trying to counter it.

            The Dems should also guard against thinking they’ve suffered a resounding rejection at the presidential level. Because even with a candidate viewed as unfavourably as Hillary, and the last-minute surprises in the campaign, Hillary still pulled off a substantial popular vote win. That may suggest that wholesale retooling of their policies may not be the best idea, they may be better off looking more at their state-by-state tactics. And how to prevent such a stained candidate from winning the nomination in the future.

            • GregJ 6.1.1.1.1.1

              There is some very interesting discussions going on all through the US political system. For example there is discussion about a push (by some Republicans) to abolish the Senate filibuster – which may be the only tool Democrats will have in the next 2 years to oppose the Trump Administration putative legislative programme. The problem being of course there are other Republicans who realise that one day they’ll be in the minority and removing a weapon they might have to use doesn’t make much sense. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) led a task force on potential rule changes after which he said:

              “I think most Republicans understand that the Senate is not an institution to impose the majority’s will on the country. It’s the one institution in the country that’s capable of developing consensus. The Obama administration found that when you try to cram things down people’s throats in a partisan way they don’t last.”

              Here’s a comment on the debate at Electoral-Vote.com

      • Siobhan 6.1.2

        The Democrats need to figure out why they are declining in popularity, whether or not Hillary won the popular vote over an orange orangutan is the least of their problems.
        Electoral fraud is an issue. But it is not THE issue that will ‘save’ the Democrats.

        below is a link to an interview with Bernie Sanders this morning. Everyone should watch it.

        http://m.democracynow.org/stories/16866

        “Not only that, in about two-thirds of the states in this country, there are Republican governors. And in the last eight or so years, Democrats have lost some 900 legislative seats in state capitols all over this country.”

        This decline is the elephant in the room. They ignore it at their peril…And ours, and the Planets, actually.

        • Andre 6.1.2.1

          The 2010 REDMAP redistricting accounts for a lot of that. The gerrymandering that went on for the House of Representatives districts also happened for the state legislatures. To illustrate how successful REDMAP was, it’s been estimated that to win control of the House, Dems would need about a 5% nationwide margin over the Repugs.

          http://www.vox.com/conversations/2016/10/5/13097066/gerrymandering-redistricting-republican-party-david-daley-karl-rove-barack-obama

          With control of the state legislatures from REDMAP, the Repugs have been able to implement various voter suppression measures, which almost certainly tipped Wisconsin to Trump, and possibly a bunch of other states like North Carolina, Pennsylvania. Just pick a state that was close and google “(state) voter suppression”.

          The tough question is how to fight that kind of dirty. It would be nice to come up with a better answer than just jump into the sewer with the Repugs and fight at their level.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      As I previously noted, I think the demand for recounts is designed to disrupt the final possible meeting date of the Electoral College electors on Dec 19, and throw the legitimacy of the transition into disarray.

      AFAIK the margins in the three states WI, PA, MI are quite a bit larger than any other recount has managed to turn over in the past. It’s a farce.

      • Olwyn 6.2.1

        Bernie Sanders has said that we will work with Trump to achieve the good things he has promised (more jobs, increased minimum wage) if he makes good on those promises, and oppose him fiercely on any of his proposals that are unjust, sexist, racist, etc. That is what a person on a mission does. Prima facie, this business has the flavour of a group of professionals trying to protect their relevance, but refusing to look very hard at why their relevance has come under threat.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Elizabeth Warren has similarly reached out to Trump, in a long multi-page letter that she has written to him.

          As for some people who still seem to need relevance: New York City mayoral election 2017 is what I will say.

  7. joe90 7

    The worry is that this may be the beginning of a purge on electoral rolls that will make past Republican efforts look temperate.

    ‘Well Trump’s right hand man white supremacist Steve Bannon reckons excluding African Americans from voting may not be such a bad thing.

    Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.

    “I said, ‘That would exclude a lot of African-Americans,’” Ms. Jones recalled. “He said, ‘Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.’ I said, ‘But what about Wendy?’” referring to Mr. Bannon’s executive assistant. “He said, ‘She’s different. She’s family

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/27/us/politics/steve-bannon-white-house.html?

  8. Anne 8

    A good summary from The Guardian on how the “recount” request came about:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/28/election-recount-jill-stein-hillary-clinton-donald-trump

    Puts paid to some of the more wacky theories from the Trump camp.

    Stein, the Green party’s candidate for president, agreed to spearhead the effort to secure recounts following requests from Bonifaz and the security experts. Having been reluctant initially due to financial concerns, Stein was persuaded that the cost could be met via crowdfunding…

    “This was all driven by the nonpartisan election integrity community,” said Bonifaz, who has been frustrated by some critics accusing Stein of trying to cash in on disappointment about the election result. “I’m the one who asked Jill Stein to file these petitions.”

    • AmaKiwi 8.1

      Thanks Anne.

      I hope people here will watch the 3 minute video above (3.0 above) and recognize that the integrity of democracy is at stake. If computer voting can be hacked so easily, elections are meaningless.

      Wake up, New Zealand!

  9. joe90 9

    Everybody wants a recount.

    A 10,000-vote difference! If just 2 Trump voters per precinct had voted the other way we wouldn't be here. RECOUNT! pic.twitter.com/wVNSnYlPla— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) November 28, 2016

  10. adam 10

    Can I make a suggestion, it rather simple one actually. If the face of recounts and elections which were a vote for the lesser evil. Your lesser evil may have won, I really don’t care – evil is still evil.

    But the suggestion, that you go back and read ‘1984’, by George Orwell. Because many people, have missed one essential about this great science-fiction classic. People don’t feel enslaved, because they live in a ‘democracy’. The setting of 1984 is not a overt totalitarian state, nor is this.

    So yeah, argue over a recount. What a great distraction…

  11. joe90 11

    FFS KellyAnne, sedate him.
    /

    "@sdcritic: @HighonHillcrest @jeffzeleny @CNN There is NO QUESTION THAT #voterfraud did take place, and in favor of #CorruptHillary !"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016

    "@FiIibuster: @jeffzeleny Pathetic – you have no sufficient evidence that Donald Trump did not suffer from voter fraud, shame! Bad reporter.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016

    "@JoeBowman12: @jeffzeleny just another generic CNN part time wannabe journalist !" @CNN still doesn't get it. They will never learn!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016

    "@HighonHillcrest: @jeffzeleny what PROOF do u have DonaldTrump did not suffer from millions of FRAUD votes? Journalist? Do your job! @CNN"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    Most people here are treating this as an “us/them” competition. It’s not.

    Everyone needs to know if computerized votes can be hacked, changed, altered, deleted.

    If they can, the computerization of elections must end immediately. Elections are no longer about who got the most votes. They are about who has the most effective hackers.

    The video (3.0 above) demonstrates computerized vote hacking was simple for three IT undergraduates. And the election officials never realized they had done it, even though the students intentionally left clues for election officials to find.

  13. johnm 13

    Who cares what the failed state of the U$ does? Basically the U$ is rubbish except for blowing up the rest of the World and murdering millions, they’re very good at that. They can’t even look after their own as Cuba does. The U$ is a greedy grasping neoliberal nightmare much the same as JKEY is turning dark age NZ into! The Greedies win the Losers can get f@cked when they try to survive on a benefit, assuming they can get one after all the obstacles and red tape and sanctions. America is finished and Trump won’t be able to save it.

  14. Sabine 14

    Michigan could be an interesting recount. As it appears D. Trump won with about 10.500 votes, however there are over 80.000 ballots that had votes on down ballot elections but no mark in the category President. So over 80.000 people in Michigan could be bothered to vote for the local dog catcher but not President.
    In the past this has happened before in Michigan where on average about 40.000 ballots are delivered without a candidate choice.
    Now why is that so?
    To be a write in candidate in Michigan one needs to sign up for it. Bernie Sanders who was a write in candidate in many states was not listed in Michigan. However Bernie Sanders had a good support system in Michigan and it would be interesting to see if Bernie Sanders was a write in candidate but the ballot was treated as an undervote i.e. no candidate selection for presnit as the write in candidate was Bernie Sanders.

    I hope i make sense.

    this dairy here at DKos might clarify a few things.

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/11/28/1604838/-Wisconsin-denies-hand-recount-Michigan-unlikely-to-change-much

    So i don’t think that anyone believes it is going to change anything. I do believe that maybe there are some inconsistencies, such as in some counties in Wisconsin where already some 5000 votes have been deducted from D. Trumps total due to ‘errors in math’.
    see here http://www.snopes.com/2016/11/25/wisconsin-to-recount-ballots-after-claims-of-irregularities/

    And my believe is that this is where Stein comes in and is within her rights to demand a recount. If somewhere machines don’t count, scan, or read as they should this needs to be addressed.

    I know that there are some here in NZ that are very keen on going ‘online’ voting and such. And i get that in the time of the disappearing NZ Postal Services were we may end up having whole suburbs that will have a hard time posting their ballots due to lack of any available NZ Post services it seems like an easy fix, like everyone gots a computer and electricity and internet (unless of course they don’t cause that costs money), or they have a library (unless of course they don’t cause that one got closed in the last fund cutting saving austerity madness), or they have schools (who don’t have reliable internet or enough computers or limitless wifi) and then we very quickly have a case of voter disenfranchisement or suppression like in many states of the US of A. Some almost 900 closed poll stations, voter id laws, early closing times for early voting and most if not all in poor african american areas, college towns, and the likes.

    http://heavy.com/news/2016/11/election-results-2016-voter-id-suppression-wisconsin-trump-clinton-hillary-north-carolina-ohio-arizona-polling-places-closed-reduced-decreased-closures-registration-purged/

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a50326/north-carolina-republican-voter-purge/

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2016/10/republicans_are_already_suppressing_minority_votes_all_over_america.html

    and when you start reading though all of this one thing becomes clear, that Voter Suppression is the untold story, and maybe this is what Mrs. Stein is hoping to find.

    the question for us here in NZ will be for the next election, does it mean anything that we have a third of our population basically living as transients – and most likely have other issues then keeping their voting records up to date, that our suburbs and rural areas are loosing public mail boxes, Post offices and have to live with a less Post delivery services? How many people have not voted the last time around? How easy would it be in NZ to simple drop a third of the electorate by making voting impossible?

    As for the US it does not matter anymore, they made their bed they will sleep in it.
    And old saying in germany says that stupidity does not protect one from harm or ridicule. But frankly, it sounds better in the original German. Dummheit schuetzt for Schaden nicht. ….also, die Geister die ich rief, werd ich nun nicht mehr loss. Goethe.

  15. Sabine 15

    the costs were for the recount were increased from 1.1 mil to 3.5 mil, but nevertheless J. Stein paid the 3.5 mil upfront as requested and the the recount in Wisconsin will start on Thursday.

    Details here http://elections.wi.gov/node/4457

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