Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein launched a two-pronged bid to re-examine Pennsylvania’s presidential election results Monday. And while even some supporters of the effort say they don’t expect to overturn Donald J. Trump’s win in the state, the effort has already complicated the timeline for certifying the results in Allegheny County. On Monday afternoon, the Stein campaign filed a Commonwealth Court petition on behalf of more than 100 voters, expressing “grave concerns about the integrity of electronic voting machines used in their districts.” The petition, which calls the Nov. 8 election “illegal,” is part of a Green effort to recount ballots in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. “We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system,” said Ms. Stein in a statement Monday. Citing “accusations of irregularities and hacks” of Democratic Party emails and voter-registration databases, she said, “People of all political persuasions are asking if our election results are reliable.”
The Green effort mainly targets longstanding concerns that voting machines are vulnerable to hacking. Compounding those fears is the fact that machines in two-thirds of Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny and Philadelphia, don’t maintain a paper record of voters’ wishes. That makes the electronic results nearly impossible to verify, critics say, though the machines’ defenders note there are no documented cases of hackers changing a race’s outcome.
The petition was filed on the last day allowed under state law. While it includes expert testimony about hacking vulnerabilities, and news stories about purported Russian efforts to disrupt the election, it contains no concrete evidence of tampering. Instead, it references the second prong of the recount effort: a series of precinct-by-precinct petitions also filed Monday, seeking recounts in polling places across the state.
Those recounts, which must be requested by three voters in each precinct, could provide “further evidence of petitioners’ concern,” said the Commonwealth Court filing. The filing could be withdrawn, it adds, if “recounts … yield no additional proof” of problems.