A Philadelphia judge said he will rule Monday on the Green Party-backed petition for a statewide Pennsylvania recount, but signaled that the clock may be running out because the state must certify its election results for the Electoral College vote. U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond announced his plans after a Friday afternoon hearing at which supporters of Green Party nominee Jill Stein continued their bid for the review, citing potential security vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines statewide. Diamond, however, seemed most concerned with the limited time Stein’s lawyers had left him to act, by waiting nearly a month after the election to file their lawsuit. Any court-ordered delay in meeting the Tuesday certification deadline could put Pennsylvania’s electoral votes in jeopardy when the Electoral College convenes Dec. 19.
“One could say you sat on your rights for three weeks . . . anticipating a judicial fire drill,” Diamond said from the bench. “Here we have a cold, hard deadline that will disenfranchise six million people, and you and your clients waited, making it almost impossible to comply.”
Stein lawyer Ilann Maazel insisted that should Diamond grant the request, the evaluation – a sampling from counties statewide – could be completed before the deadline.
“This is the second-closest presidential election in the history of Pennsylvania. The only closer vote was in 1840, when William Henry Harrison beat Martin Van Buren,” Maazel said. “Voters don’t just have the right to vote. They have the right to ensure their vote was counted.”