A federal judge on Monday issued a stinging rejection of a Green Party-backed request to recount paper ballots in Pennsylvania’s presidential election, won narrowly by Republican Donald Trump, and scan some counties’ election systems for signs of hacking. In his 31-page decision, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond said there were at least six grounds that required him to reject the Green Party’s lawsuit, which had been opposed by Trump, the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office. The Green Party has been successful in at least getting statewide recounts started in Wisconsin and Michigan, but it has failed to get a statewide recount begun or ordered in Pennsylvania. Suspicion of a hacked Pennsylvania election “borders on the irrational” while granting the Green Party’s recount bid could “ensure that that no Pennsylvania vote counts” given Tuesday’s federal deadline to certify the vote for the Electoral College, wrote Diamond, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, a Republican.
“Most importantly, there is no credible evidence that any ‘hack’ occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised,” Diamond wrote. He also said the lawsuit suffered from a lack of standing, potentially the lack of federal jurisdiction and an “unexplained, highly prejudicial” wait before filing last week’s lawsuit, four weeks after the Nov. 8 election.
The decision was the Green Party’s latest roadblock in Pennsylvania after hitting numerous walls in county and state courts. Green Party-backed lawyers argue that it was possible that computer hackers changed the election outcome and that Pennsylvania’s heavy use of paperless machines makes it a prime target. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein also contended that Pennsylvania has erected unconstitutional barriers to voters seeking a recount.