An attorney for Green Party candidate Jill Stein filed a petition Monday in state Commonwealth Court asking for a recount of Pennsylvania’s 2016 presidential election. In the last week, Stein raised $6.2 million in order to launch recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states that President-elect Donald Trump won by about 1 percentage point. In the Keystone State, the businessman received about 70,000 more votes than Clinton. Stein garnered less than 50,000 votes. One of the chief factors cited attorney Lawrence Otter’s petition include problems with the state’s electronic voting system that a computer scientist believes could make it vulnerable to hackers. Others include the computer hacking of the Democratic National Committee and “discontinuity” between pre-election public opinion polls and the final result.
“A primary purpose of the recounts now being requested, petitioners believe, is or should be to determine if computer intrusions or hacking of electronic election systems impacted the results in the 2016 presidential election,” Otter wrote, in the filing.
Under state law, a recount is mandatory in elections decided by a margin of less than half a percentage point. Clinton currently trails Trump by more than a percentage point.
The recount could potentially be hampered by the age and technical realities of the voting machines. Most do not create a paper trail of individual votes cast, so there won’t be a ballot-by-ballot recount like the one carried out in Florida after the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.