It’s official: Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is suing the Wisconsin Elections Commissions after the body refused to require each county to tabulate the votes via a hand count.
— Journal Sentinel (@journalsentinel) November 28, 2016
As Jason Easley noted earlier, there’s simply no point of a recount if the votes are going to be counted using the same machines – a hand count is the only logical way to move forward with an audit.
The recount process – which would not have required votes to counted by hand – was set to start Thursday, but the new lawsuit could delay the proceedings. The only problem is that Wisconsin law dictates that the audit must start by the end of this week.
If Stein loses the lawsuit, all 72 of the Badget State’s counties would choose how they wanted to conduct their recounts.
According to the Journal Sentinel:
Unless Stein wins her lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court, officials in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties would decide on their own whether to do their recounts of the 2.98 million statewide votes by machine or by hand, with dozens of counties expected to hand count the paper ballots.
The good news, according to the Chicago Tribune, is that “more than 30 counties told the Elections Commission they planned to do a hand recount whether it is ordered by a judge or not.” If more counties follow suit, it won’t matter what the judge determines.
The Tribune also noted that Stein’s lawsuit included an affidavit from J. Alex Alderman, a computer scientist from the University of Michigan, who claims that electronic voting equipment may have been compromised by a cyberattack and the only way to know whether the results were influenced by such an attack would be to count the ballots by hand.
Election officials in the state say their system is reliable and the recount will only reaffirm that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. Of course, that would almost certainly be true if votes are counted via the same method used on election night.
In any case, the battle over how to recount ballots in Wisconsin seems far from over, and it appears Jill Stein has gone all in to make sure the process is carried out in a way that would uncover any outside influence over the results.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.