link4557 link4558 link4559 link4560 link4561 link4562 link4563 link4564 link4565 link4566 link4567 link4568 link4569 link4570 link4571 link4572 link4573 link4574 link4575 link4576 link4577 link4578 link4579 link4580 link4581 link4582 link4583 link4584 link4585 link4586 link4587 link4588 link4589 link4590 link4591 link4592 link4593 link4594 link4595 link4596 link4597 link4598 link4599 link4600 link4601 link4602 link4603 link4604 link4605 link4606 link4607 link4608 link4609 link4610 link4611 link4612 link4613 link4614 link4615 link4616 link4617 link4618 link4619 link4620 link4621 link4622 link4623 link4624 link4625 link4626 link4627 link4628 link4629 link4630 link4631 link4632 link4633 link4634 link4635 link4636 link4637 link4638 link4639 link4640 link4641 link4642 link4643 link4644 link4645 link4646 link4647 link4648 link4649 link4650 link4651 link4652 link4653 link4654 link4655 link4656 link4657 link4658 link4659 link4660 link4661 link4662 link4663 link4664 link4665 link4666 link4667 link4668 link4669 link4670 link4671 link4672 link4673 link4674 link4675 link4676 link4677 link4678 link4679 link4680 link4681 link4682 link4683 link4684 link4685 link4686 link4687 link4688 link4689 link4690 link4691 link4692 link4693 link4694 link4695 link4696 link4697 link4698 link4699 link4700 link4701 link4702 link4703

Dear Clinton supporters: Recall wont matter

Dear Clinton supporters: Recall wont matter

News that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has requested a recount in Wisconsin, and will likely do the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania, has raised faint hopes among Hillary Clinton supporters that somehow Donald Trump will not become the next president of the United States.

Now that Clinton's campaign has said it will participate in the recount efforts, those supporters' hopes have been lifted even higher.

To put the matter bluntly: They should give up that hope.

There is essentially zero chance that the recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania will change Trump's lead, which number in the thousands, not hundreds, in all three states. Trump is winning Wisconsin by a little more than 27,000 votes; his lead in Michigan sits at around 11,000; and his lead in Pennsylvania is insurmountable at over 68,000.

This is not Florida 2000. On Election Night in 2000, George W. Bush held a 1,784 vote lead over Al Gore in Florida's election for president, representing just 0.031 percent of the 5.8 million votes cast in the state. After a recount — which the US Supreme Court halted by a 5-4 vote — Bush ultimately won Florida by 537 votes, securing the presidency. Yet even if the Court had allowed the recount to proceed, the margin would not have swung by much.

This is not Washington 2004, where a recount reversed the result, handing Democrat Christine Gregoire a 129-vote win over Republican Dino Rossi after he initially had a 261-vote lead on election night.

This is not Minnesota 2008, where a recount gave Democrat Al Franken a 225-vote win over Republican Norm Coleman, reversing Coleman's initial lead of 215 votes.

All of these recounts had one significant fact in common: the margin of victory was in the hundreds, not thousands. And the shifts in vote totals after the recounts were very small.

In the past 15 years, a statewide recount has reversed the winner from the election-night tally only three times — in the Washington 2004 governor's race (a 390-vote shift), the 2008 Minnesota US Senate race (a 440-vote shift), and a 2006 election in Vermont for Auditor of Accounts, which initially had a 137-vote margin on election night that changed to a 102-vote win for the other candidate after the recount (a 239-vote change).

FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for electoral reform, found that from 2000-2012 there were only 22 statewide recounts across the country, and the average shift in those recounts was just 0.026%.

But, a Clinton supporter might say, what if the machines were hacked? What if the election was actually rigged? It is an ironic sentiment given that Trump was the one claiming widespread election rigging before the election and Clinton supporters blasted Trump for refusing to say whether he would honor the results.

Irony aside, there is simply no evidence of election hacking, as Clinton's top lawyer, Marc Elias, himself conceded. Of course, now that Stein has begun the process, it is perfectly reasonable for Clinton and her lawyers to stay involved. But her supporters should not take that fact as a sign that the election is still in question.

Prolonging the campaign by seeking a recount breeds unwarranted doubt about the legitimacy of our elections — without any real evidence to back it up. Our democratic system relies on everyone accepting the result. That legitimacy suffers when mere speculation calls the result into question with little evidence of rigging and Electoral College vote totals that decisively determine a winner.

Moreover, all of this talk of recounts and election rigging obscures the more important fact about our elections: We impose too many obstacles on voters for no good reason. We need to work harder to eliminate onerous voting laws and make voting easier, not focus on long-shot recounts that provide only false hope. For instance, this recount effort does nothing to address issues surrounding Wisconsin's controversial voter ID statute, which improperly prevented some people from voting.

While Stein's futile recount effort should give no solace to Clinton supporters, there is a silver lining to the current debate: It might finally prompt Congress and state legislatures to devote greater resources to election technology.

We desperately need better voting equipment and stronger post-Election Day audits. Going into this election, experts warned about the woefully out-of-date equipment that most states use. Indeed, old machines — especially if they do not allow for a paper trail — raise the possibility, however small, of election hacking. Old machines can lead to long lines, lost votes, and other Election Day problems.

Updated voting technology can increase turnout by making voting easier. As just one example, Doña Ana County, New Mexico uses Voting Convenience Centers instead of precinct-based polling places, meaning that anyone in the county can vote at any of the 40 centers instead of having to go to their assigned home precinct. This makes it easier to vote near work or school and eliminates the possibility of having to vote via a provisional ballot — which could potentially not count — if a voter shows up at the wrong place.

This system shows that improved technology can both enhance the integrity of our election system — a standard Republican talking point — and also make voting more accessible to more people, thereby increasing the electorate — something Democrats usually strive to achieve.

The recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania will do nothing to assuage the fears of Clinton supporters who recoil at the thought of a Trump presidency. But at a minimum, they should force politicians on all sides to re-examine how we run our elections.

Like it or not, Donald Trump will become our next president. Hopefully, when he runs for re-election in four years, we will have a stronger election system that makes voting easier, more convenient and accessible, less susceptible to manipulation, and more easily verifiable. That's the closest to a "win" that Clinton and her supporters can expect.

Reprinted From CNN

Thomas Prendergast
 

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member