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.
There will be no recount of paper ballots in Pennsylvania, a federal judge ruled Monday. US District Judge Paul Diamond rejected a request backed by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein to recount paper ballots and scan some counties’ election systems for signs that the 2016 presidential election in Pennsylvania, where Donald Trump won by a narrow margin, was hacked. In his 31-page decision, Judge Diamond wrote there existed at least six grounds that required him to reject the Green Party’s lawsuit, writing that the suspicion that the election was hacked “borders on the irrational.” The recount bid, he said, could “ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts,” as Tuesday is the federal deadline to certify the vote for the Electoral College.
Pennsylvania: Decision coming Monday on Stein’s request for statewide recount | Philadelphia Inquirer
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.
Pennsylvania: State Attorney General fights Green Party recount bid in federal court | Associated Press
Calling it a “fishing expedition,” Pennsylvania election officials on Thursday asked a federal judge to throw out a Green Party-backed lawsuit that seeks a recount of paper ballots cast in the Nov. 8 presidential election and an inspection to determine whether election software was hacked. The state attorney general’s office, representing Secretary of State Pedro Cortes, a Democrat, attacked the recount effort by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein as an effort to undo the presidential election won by Republican Donald Trump. Stein lacks the necessary standing to challenge the election result because any change will not make her the winner, the state’s lawyers wrote. It is “rank speculation” to suggest that Russian hackers somehow flipped the vote, they wrote. And Stein’s challenge is based on unfounded suspicions and acknowledges that it’s possible no evidence of hacking even exists, because sophisticated malware can be designed to disappear after carrying out its task.
Pennsylvania: Green Party in court again with demand to examine county voting machines | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
With just days before Allegheny County must certify the results of the 2016 presidential election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein again is demanding to examine the electronic voting machines used here. Candidates have a right to examine voting machines, the campaign argued in a filing Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, and “the Board of Elections improperly denied Dr. Stein the ability to exercise that right by refusing her request to have experts … determine whether they were working properly and had not been tampered with.” It was not clear Wednesday when a hearing might be held on the matter, but time is short. Allegheny County is set to certify its results on Dec. 12. Pennsylvania must certify statewide returns the following day. Meanwhile, Michigan’s presidential recount was halted Wednesday after three days, assuring Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the state, when a federal judge said he’ll abide by a court ruling that found Dr. Stein couldn’t seek another look at the vote.
Pennsylvania: Judge denies Jill Stein request for audit of Philadelphia voting machines | Philadelphia Inquirer
A Philadelphia judge has denied Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s request for a forensic audit of voting machines used in the city. Common Pleas Court Judge Abbe Fletman, in a written opinion issued Wednesday, said Stein “is mistaken” in her claim that the state Election Code gives her a right to the audit she requested. Stein had appealed a vote by the Philadelphia city commissioners last Thursday, denying her request for an audit. The commissioners did allow a recount requested in 75 of the city’s 1,686 voting divisions, which found no discrepancies in the voting machine results. Ilann Maazel, an attorney for Stein’s campaign, repeated in a hearing Tuesday claims already made in other Pennsylvania counties and in a federal filing, that voting machines used here are “extremely vulnerable” to computer hacking.
The Green Party-backed push for a recount of Pennsylvania’s presidential election results will get its day in federal court. U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond on Tuesday ordered a Friday hearing to consider the party’s request for a forensic examination of voting machines used across the state and a statewide recount of paper ballots. The proceeding will take place just days before the Dec. 13 federal deadline for the state to certify its votes, setting up a tight window for the examination should the judge allow it to proceed. “This is a step toward ensuring that voters of this state know their voices are heard,” said Ilann Maazel, a lawyer for former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. “We hope the court grants this injunction immediately, to allow the timely completion of this effort.” Stein has spearheaded the recount effort in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, Rust Belt states that provided crucial and narrow victories to President-elect Donald Trump on his march to the White House.
Pennsylvania: ‘Count every vote!’: Pennsylvania recount supporters take case to the Capitol | PennLive
Chants of “count every vote” echoed through the Capitol Rotunda as Green Party members rallied Monday in support of Jill Stein’s effort to force a Pennsylvania recount. “Shame on you, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Pat LaMarche, of an appellate court’s decision last week requiring petitioners to front a $1 million bond in order to move forward with the process. Earlier in the day, attorneys for Stein filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to secure a forensic audit of votes cast in November’s presidential election that resulted in a narrow victory by President-elect Donald Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump currently holds a 47,000-vote edge against Clinton, although the margin is not close enough to trigger an automatic recount. Stein drew less than 1 percent of the votes cast.
Pennsylvania: Stein lawyers take Pennsylvania recount battle to federal court | Philadelphia Inquirer
Green Party-backed lawyers moved their fight for a recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election results to federal court Monday, hoping the new venue and a last-minute shift in strategy would favor their push for an audit of the state’s nearly 24,000 voting machines. Calling Pennsylvania’s election system a “national disgrace” reliant upon outdated technology, the lawyers urged a Philadelphia judge to order a statewide recount and a forensic examination of a sample set of the machines. Both steps, the lawyers said in their complaint, are necessary to determine if hackers manipulated the state’s election results. They offered no evidence to suggest any manipulation had occurred. “Voters are forced to use vulnerable, hackable, antiquated technology banned in other states, then rely on the kindness of machines. There is no paper trail,” lawyers Ilann M. Maazel and Gregory Harvey wrote in the filing. “A majority of machines voted for Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. But who did the people vote for?”
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein filed a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania federal court Monday as part of her push for a statewide recount in the presidential race. Stein’s complaint alleges that Pennsylvania’s elections operation is “a national disgrace. Voters are forced to use vulnerable, hackable, antiquated technology banned in other states, then rely on the kindness of machines,” the complaint reads. “There is no paper trail. Voting machines are electoral black sites: no one permits voters or candidates to examine them.” Stein tweeted Sunday about her plans to file the recount lawsuit, writing that she planned to “escalate #Recount2016” because “people deserve answers.” Stein filed her lawsuit, first reported by BuzzFeed News, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The move comes after Stein’s lawyer on Saturday withdrew a state lawsuit seeking a recount in Pennsylvania, saying in a filing that the petitioners are “regular citizens of ordinary means” who “cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the Court.”