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.”
Pennsylvania: Green Party switches strategy in Pennsylvania recount bid, seeks federal court help | Chicago Tribune
A Green Party-backed campaign changed its strategy to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump, and said late Saturday night that it will seek help in the federal courts, rather than the state courts. The announcement that it would seek an emergency federal court order on Monday for a recount came hours after it dropped a case in the state courts. Make no mistake — the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania,” recount campaign lawyer Jonathan Abady said in a statement issued around 11:30 p.m. “We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans.” In the statement, Abady said barriers to a recount in Pennsylvania are pervasive and the state court system is ill-equipped to address the problem.
Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein switched tactics in her campaign to force a recount in Pennsylvania, one of three battleground states won by Donald Trump where she has challenged the results. The party dropped a bid to pursue the recount in a state court, citing difficulties raising a million dollar bond demanded by the tribunal. It said it would instead press on in federal court and file suit Monday. That was also Stein’s deadline for raising the bond money. “Make no mistake -— the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania,” attorney Jonathan Abady said in a statement. “Over the past several days, it has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention,” Abady said.
A Green Party-backed campaign changed its strategy to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump, and said late Saturday night that it will seek help in the federal courts, rather than the state courts. The announcement that it would seek an emergency federal court order on Monday for a recount came hours after it dropped a case in the state courts. “Make no mistake — the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania,” recount campaign lawyer Jonathan Abady said in a statement issued around 11:30 p.m. “We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans.” In the statement, Abady said barriers to a recount in Pennsylvania are pervasive and the state court system is ill-equipped to address the problem.
Pennsylvania: Philladelphia allows recount, rejects forensic audit of voting machines | Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia city commissioners have agreed to recount some ballots cast in the city, as requested by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, but rejected a forensic audit of how those voting machines work. The commissioners, in a brief meeting Thursday, agreed to start recounting on Friday ballots in 75 divisions after Stein’s campaign filed at least three affidavits for each division from voters there asking for a recount. They rejected requests for seven other divisions. Philadelphia has 1,686 voting divisions. Ilann Maazel, an attorney for Stein’s campaign, told the commissioners the state Election Code allows for an examination of the machines. Citing examples of hacking of elections computer systems in Illinois and Arizona, along with the Democratic National Committee’s emails, he said a forensic audit of Philadelphia’s voting machine software was the only way to determine whether they had been hacked. “To examine means to look inside,” Maazel said.
Philadelphia will recount ballots cast in 75 voting precincts on Friday, marking the first major success of Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s push to audit the state’s presidential election results. On Thursday, county election officials approved 75 of 82 voter petitions. In those precincts, voting machines will be recanvassed–essentially running them again to review the vote totals. An undetermined number of paper absentee, emergency and provisional ballots from those precincts will also be recounted. “It’s not a great number (of ballots),” Deputy Commissioner Fred Voigt said. “Keep in mind that something like 700,000 votes were cast in Philadelphia County. You’re talking (1,686) polling places. This is a speck.” Less than 5 percent of the county’s total precincts will be subject to the recount. According to Pennsylvania Department of State data, Hillary Clinton received 563,275 votes countywide compared to 105,876 for Donald Trump. Stein, meanwhile, received 6,486, slightly less than 1 percent of the total number cast.
Attorneys for President-elect Donald Trump have moved to block the vote recount in Pennsylvania, adding to complaints filed to stop similar proceedings in Michigan and Wisconsin. “Despite being no more than a blip on the electoral radar, Stein has now commandeered Pennsylvania’s electoral process, with an eye toward doing the same to the Electoral College,” the complaint filed Thursday states. “There is no evidence — or even an allegation — that any tampering with Pennsylvania’s voting systems actually occurred.” The filing comes on the heels of the Trump camp’s complaint reported earlier Thursday in Michigan dismissing Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s claims of impropriety during the 2016 presidential race, and a day after the the Wisconsin Republican Party logged a complaint with the Federal Election Committee arguing that Stein was seeking to benefit Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.
The Green Party-backed push for a recount of Pennsylvania’s presidential election results will get its day in court. Commonwealth Court has scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. Monday in Harrisburg to consider the recount effort pushed by former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, according to a court order Tuesday. Ms. Stein’s campaign helped coordinate a legal challenge this week seeking the statewide recount, contending the Nov. 8 election was illegal and its results inaccurate. It cited as evidence research by computer scientists pointing to potential hacking of electronic voting machines, as well as numerous news reports of hacking, possibly by foreign governments, into email accounts associated with the Democratic National Committee and the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton. In scheduling Monday’s hearing, the court order said little about the proceeding. But it said “a conclusive decision” on the matter must be reached by Dec. 13, the deadline for Pennsylvania’s electors to declare who wins the state’s 20 electoral votes.
Pennsylvania: Jill Stein files petition seeking Pennsylvania presidential election recount | PennLive
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.
Stein’s camp filed a recount petition last week in Wisconsin, and is expected to do so this week Michigan. Clinton lost each of the state by fewer than 100,000 votes. She lost Pennsylvania by about 71,300 votes. As of Monday evening, Stein had raised nearly $6.4 million dollars, covering the costs of recounts in both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and is close to her total goal of $7 million goal to cover recount costs in Michigan. But when it comes to the Keystone State, it turns out raising the money might have been the easiest step. As Stein points out herself in a video posted on Sunday, initiating a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s vote is “especially complicated.” Unlike Wisconsin, Stein can’t simply file a direct request for a recount, leaving just two paths for a potential statewide audit.
National: Jill Stein raises $6 million for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania | CS Monitor
Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has raised almost $6 million to petition the states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to recount votes in order to determine if hacking skewed the election away from the expected victor, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. In all three states, President-elect Donald Trump won an upset victory with a tiny margin. If the trio had gone blue, as was expected, Mrs. Clinton would have earned enough electoral votes to secure the election. Proponents of the recount have compared it to instant replay in a sporting event, but critics say it undermines confidence in the electoral process. While Clinton supporters are holding on to their last hope to see her in the White House, the Obama administration has announced that the election was not hacked, by Russians or anyone else. “The Kremlin probably expected that publicity surrounding the disclosures that followed the Russian government-directed compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations, would raise questions about the integrity of the election process that could have undermined the legitimacy of the president-elect,” the Obama administration wrote in a statement. “Nevertheless, we stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people,” it added.
National: Hillary Clinton’s Team to Join Wisconsin Recount Pushed by Jill Stein | The New York Times
Nearly three weeks after Election Day, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said on Saturday that it would participate in a recount process in Wisconsin incited by a third-party candidate and would join any potential recounts in two other closely contested states, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Clinton campaign held out little hope of success in any of the three states, and said it had seen no “actionable evidence” of vote hacking that might taint the results or otherwise provide new grounds for challenging Donald J. Trump’s victory. But it suggested it was going along with the recount effort to assure supporters that it was doing everything possible to verify that hacking by Russia or other irregularities had not affected the results. In a post on Medium, Marc Elias, the Clinton team’s general counsel, said the campaign would take part in the Wisconsin recount being set off by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, and would also participate if Ms. Stein made good on her plans to seek recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Mrs. Clinton lost those three states by a total of little more than 100,000 votes, sealing her Electoral College defeat by Mr. Trump.