vote-recount

The Stein Recount Needle and the Damage Done

vote-recountI stated earlier my issues with the Jill Stein fueled “recount” effort. Since that time, there seems to be a hue and cry to the effect of “irrespective of Stein, these will be helpful and are especially needed after Trump’s lie!”.

There are many instances of that thought, but this from Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News, a friend whom I admire and like greatly, is indicative:

The stakes are too high to calculate. But there is one other thing about Trump’s big lie about the 2016 election. Ironically, before today, the case for a recount in the three states was a tad shaky. While the threat of Russian (or other) hacking has been a valid concern, little in the way of actual evidence of a stolen election has emerged since November 8. But now that Trump has alleged massive fraud, the integrity of the American system demands that the result be audited and properly certified. So let the re-counting begin.

I disagree rather strongly.

As said, I already stated my objection to Stein’s effort, as initially targeted to Wisconsin. Let’s take a look at the situation in Pennsylvania, where Stein has putatively filed today, the last possible day legally. A quote from Pennsylvania election lawyer Gregory Harvey in local Pennsylvania press is instructive:

The biggest obstacle to this getting anywhere may be deadlines. The recount petitions come on the very last day, and if they’re designed to generate enough evidence to contest the election, that’s going to be a stretch.

Harvey, the election lawyer says the deadline for an election contest, which must spell out the specific conduct that merits overturning the result, is also Monday, Nov. 28. With a compelling case you can always ask the court to make an exception, but they tend to be pretty strict about election law — that thing about not changing the rules after the game is played.

Harvey said Steins’ prospects for success are so remote that “raising money to do something in Pennsylvania must be intended only to publicize the Green Party.”

Again, remember, there is a difference between rote “recounts” and comprehensive “audits”. This is especially germane to WI as noted previously, but also to Pennsylvania, and Michigan, should it come too. Even if the recount found something, and there is no basis to believe it will, the legal timeframe is blown. And, no, courts are not likely to remedy such laches. (So, where has Stein been for weeks since the election and before she so conveniently glommed on to, and misrepresented, Halderman et al’s report?) Ah, late breaking, indeed Wisconsin has already denied the last second recount by hand from Stein and Stein is now suing to try to overcome the administrative ruling:

Unless Stein wins her lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court, officials in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties would decide on their own whether to do their recounts by hand. That could mean some counties perform recounts by machine and some by hand.

Yes, shocking! And good luck with that. Again, as I have relentlessly stated, once you approach administrative boards and, even more so, courts, you need actual demonstrable bases for your argument of fraud, mistake etc. Which is something Jill Stein and her effort simply have never had. That does not cut it. Ooops!

Stein has until Wednesday to file in Michigan, but there is no reason to think the effort will be any more focused, intelligently drafted, nor timely, than has been displayed to date in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

But there are bigger issues here than Jill Stein’s folly, right? Right! Indeed there are, and Stein’s cynical effort only hurts those larger picture items. But, irrespective of all of the above, it is a wonderful thing that the votes are being recounted, right? Maybe, and quite arguably, maybe not.

If this effort involved intelligent and targeted meaningful “audits” of voting in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, that would truly yield the data we need to answer a variety of questions, I would agree wholeheartedly. But that is not what is afoot here via Stein. These are rote last second “recounts”, likely through the same tabulation mechanisms originally used, and are almost guaranteed to produce the same results, give or take minuscule deviation.

In fact, as close as I can discern from reportage, even in Stein’s first state, Wisconsin, to perform a truly different full hand count analysis requires leave of a court. And it is hard to see leave of court being given without a substantive evidentiary basis being proffered, of which there is, of course, none to date. In Pennslyvania, the outlook is no better, and arguably even more lame and adverse. That is before we ever get to Michigan, which the last second for Stein is Wednesday.

There are a lot of truly intelligent and proper purposes for all Americans, and currently Democrats, to want to test and audit the vote in this country. It is that important, and that germane to our democracy.

By the same token, it is also too important to be driven by a crass vanity project at the last second by a bit player glomming on for self promotion. This is the lifeblood of American plebiscite and democracy, and we deserve better.

But the current action is not just a curiosity that “can’t hurt” or that is suddenly necessary to react to some idiotic tweet by Trump. The stakes are higher than that. Stein’s effort is ill advised, ill counseled legally, ill targeted, ill executed and ill timed by every metric I can see.

And, yes, there can be real harm therefrom. An effort like this that does nothing but confirm the general overall propriety of the 2016 vote does nothing but confirm Trump’s election. But, more importantly, it lends a larger argument that our voting system is fair and accurate, and thus not in need of further reform and updating.

Sure, it may, for the next few weeks, counter the blindered fascination of many as to rebutting Trump’s idiotic tweet on “millions of illegal voters”, but that is transient and short sighted. In the long run, it will just feed the larger GOP effort, and they now hold both houses of Congress and the Presidency, to not reform and improve American voting mechanisms, but indeed to accept that it is all fine technologically and then go about further voter suppression and restriction measures generally.

Greg Sargent discussed this at the Washington Post Plumline this morning:

Trump has now made national news with this tweet, a response to reports that Hillary Clinton’s campaign will join a recount effort in Wisconsin and possibly Michigan and Pennsylvania as well
….
As Glenn Kessler explains, there is zero evidence that this happened. Trump will continue to reach deep into the fever swamps to shape reality for himself and his supporters — only now he’ll do so in the position as most powerful person in the world. Trump also tweeted that there was “serious voter fraud” in three states that the media refuses to report upon.

But all this may also telegraph something concrete that we might see under a Trump presidency: A far more ambitious effort to restrict access to voting than we might have expected.

“My concern is that this might be a signal that we will see an assault on voting rights,” Wendy Weiser, the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, told me today. “Claims of nonexistent voter fraud and noncitizen voting are precisely the kinds of baseless justifications that we’ve seen for the wave of laws in the past couple of years restricting voting access.”

Yes, indeed. I think this is exactly what I am, and have been, saying. Well put by Sargent.

Democrats, and yes Greens to the extent they really care, should stop playing the game that is already lost, and 2016 is already lost, and start playing smartly as to the future. You want comprehensive and meaningful actual voting audits, as opposed to rote recounts, of the vote? Excellent! Let’s work on that for the future. Let’s do that for all states, and not just the three that Jill Stein glommed onto to self promote.

There is a fight out there to be won, but the instant “recount” effort is ill advised and not going to do squat to win it.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
36 replies
  1. emptywheel says:

    Your arguments keep getting more and more unconvincing. Do I detect that you don’t like Jill Stein?

    Trump’s AG will be Jeff Sessions. If that’s not already evidence Trump will do more to suppress the vote, I’m not sure what is. So any harm that will come from this is harm that is all but assured anyway. I’d even say that Trump’s response — his claim to have won the popular vote — may actually alarm the press (at least People Magazine and Teen Idol) about the extent of Trump’s lies such that it’ll discredit Trump in outlets that his voters will actually read.

    As to the sensibility of the MI recount? Mark Brewer, the Dem Chair until 2 cycles ago, is Stein’s lawyer on the case. He’s a numbers wonk, a high ranking Democrat in very long standing, and no slouch. So her count here, at least, will be very professional.

    Reply
    • jawbone says:

      Perchance the Greens and Jill Stein are waaay outside the left side of the Overton Window…

      It is too bad there is not a required AUDIT of votes.  That seems to be what Stein and the professors who rec’d the recounts actually wanted.  It’s almost criminal that PA has not paper trail.  Good grief!!

      Reply
      • bmaz says:

        Competent and effective “audits” may be what Stein and her ilk “wanted”. But that is very much not what they set off to actually do, or see to for future elections. In fact, the argument of the post is that what they are doing is counterproductive to that goal.

        Reply
  2. bmaz says:

    Yes yes, let’s make it about Jill Stein, isn’t that convenient for you. Much easier than responding to the substantive operative facts and legal concerns. How should it be referred to? The Magical Recount Effort By The One Who Cannot Be Named?

    It is actually your argument, that the recount goodness will become “Magically Delicious” like Lucky Charms, that seems to be foundering. The comprehensive helpful figures you hoped for from Wisconsin have already prohibitively gone down the drain, and Stein is now “suing” to try to salvage it (unlikely to get any relief), and that is before even talking about the Pennsylvania effort as I described.

    Glad to hear Brewer is involved. I hope he does a far more professional effort than has been evidenced to date. The count, assuming The Person Who Cannot Be Named’s effort files there on the late date of Wednesday, will be whatever is called for under Michigan law and allowed for by the appropriate administrative authority and/or court. We shall see, but it is heartening that Brewer is involved. That gives at least hope for a better effort than I have seen so far in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

    Reply
  3. Peterr says:

    Bmaz, I think you do Bunch a grave injustice in the quote you pulled out of the end of his piece. I read it as a kind of O. Henry ending, whereby he takes Trump at his word and says that it’s one thing if the loser cries “fraud” but when the winner does too . . . well, let’s look at this.

    Whether you like that or not, Bunch’s piece does suggest to me a possible solution going forward: a program of regular post-election voting audits.

    Imagine a law requiring that a certain number of precincts in every congressional district must conduct a full recount, comparing the votes reported with a second review of the actual ballots conducted by someone other than the election officials who did the original count (a local university, the league of women voters, or officials from a different election jurisdiction).

    Of course, someone would have to pay for this, and I don’t see any GOP dominated state legislatures putting any money at all into something like this.

    Reply
    • bmaz says:

      I talk to Will. He knows exactly how and why I used that quote.

      And yes, it is hard to see any GOP controlled states, which are the majority, and, frankly some of the Dem controlled states, enacting such measures. If for no other reason than that there is no current appearance of fraud/hacking and therefore no reason to spend on auditing and the equipment that would facilitate it. Without even getting into any national effort under the GOP owned leadership as it currently exists. The instant recount effort may or may not hurt any such movement, probably differs by locale, but I have a very hard time seeing how it helps in any material way. I hope I am wrong, but don’t think so; instead think it only is likely to feed viewing it all as a partisan and cynical play as opposed to principled reform action for the future. That is what truly bothers me.

      Reply
      • Peterr says:

        there is no current appearance of fraud/hacking

        Except for the President-elect declaring for all the world to hear that some 3 million votes were fraudulently cast and counted.

        Is that evidence of fraud? No. Is that the appearance of fraud? When it comes out of the mouth of the president-elect, who is ready to emerge victorious in the electoral college, maybe so.

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        • bmaz says:

          Legally, no.

          I would be stunned if any court, based on what has been displayed to this moment, bought off on this for one red second.

          Reply
          • Peterr says:

            Who’s talking about what is legal? You used the phrase not in the context of a legal proceeding in a courtroom, but in discussing the creation of law in the legislative chambers. In that context, “the appearance of” commands great power.

            See Benghazi, the murder of Vince Foster, etc.

            See also the Three Great Premises of Idiot America, put forward by one C. Pierce:

            1. Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.

            2. Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.

            3. Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is measured by how fervently they believe it.

            If you want to change/create a law, you have to pressure the folks with the power to do so. If the allegations of the President-Elect gives you a big club to swing, by all means limber up your muscles and give it a whack.

            Reply
            • bmaz says:

              No, that is not what I am saying. There is existing law, and the current recount efforts are barely meeting it as to timeliness, and are nowhere near meeting it as to burden to accomplish anything useful.

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              • Peterr says:

                Funny, but I thought you wrote this: “And yes, it is hard to see any GOP controlled states, which are the majority, and, frankly some of the Dem controlled states, enacting such measures [of setting up a regular post-election audit]. If for no other reason than that there is no current appearance of fraud/hacking and therefore no reason to spend on auditing and the equipment that would facilitate it.”

                But if you didn’t write this, then who did? Was your account hacked?

                Reply
  4. bloopie2 says:

    The problem is that (1) Trump is He Who Cannot Be Ignored, and (2) the veracity of his statements is not relevant to a huge percentage of the populace who are also too dumb to think it through.  Best to note the idiocy and lies involved, then move on without responding substantively.  He’s one of those people you can’t out-debate on his terms, like yon Ari Fleischer referenced in another post here today:  as Press Secretary (and if memory serves as deponent) you could not get him to admit anything, no matter how sharp and persistent your questioning.  In this case the vote totals are too far apart for any recount to have a chance, so drop it, I would agree.  Because in this New World Order, you simply cannot predict the consequences of your actions, no matter how well intentioned, and it is quite possible you will be unintentionally making things worse for yourself.

    Reply
    • Peterr says:

      Best to note the idiocy and lies involved, then move on without responding substantively.  He’s one of those people you can’t out-debate on his terms . . .

      No. Simply documenting the atrocities (to borrow a phrase) is not enough.

      Trump is He Who Must Be Mocked. Not just mocked, but mocked relentlessly. Mocked ruthlessly. Mocked remorselessly.

      He must have a mirror held up to his face, everywhere he looks, that shows him to be what he fears the most: the butt of the joke and the loser in the room.

      And yes, you can’t out-debate him on his terms. But if you don’t grant him his terms, he’s lost. “I’m the richest guy in NY – everyone should love me!” except they don’t. “I’m the greatest dealmaker in the world,” except he can’t get a loan from any respectable bank on the basic terms available to any Joe or Jane who walks in the door.

      Also, the veracity of his statements is hugely relevant to a huge percentage of the populace, whether or not they can or are able to think them through. If, for example, Trump believes that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese and predicates his environmental policies and international relationships on that belief, you can be sure that a huge percentage of the populace will be affected by what results.

       

      Reply
  5. RexFlex says:

    Sir, if you believe:”There is existing law, and the current recount efforts are barely meeting it as to timeliness, and are nowhere near meeting it as to burden to accomplish anything useful.”
    Then why would you have such animosity against such an effort if you so firmly believe that the endeavor is fruitless?
    Are you upset because your profession is the one that stands to garner the lion’s share of benefit and you missed the trial lawyer train for the sake of altruism?
    Is this really about how the sincerity of candidates is left to technicalities relating to their subsequent loss and their ability to game the system for one last time?
    Your angst relating to this situation seems to be disproportionate to the net result of Stein’s possible gain.
    Will you please just come out and say what you are really thinking?
    This is the longest way around the barn trip I have ever seen.

    Reply
    • Peterr says:

      Will you please just come out and say what you are really thinking?

      If you’d click the very first link in this post, I think you’ll find what you’re looking for.

      This is the longest way around the barn trip I have ever seen.

      Not if you’ve read that first link.

      Reply
  6. jerryy says:

    All feelings about Dr. Stein aside, we absolutely need this recount instead of just a selective audit.

    For some time, people whom study various types of electronic security have been jumping up and down, waving their hands and yelling to anyone that would listen that the equipment we use for voting is not safe to use. But for the most part, they might as well have been spitting into the wind for all that they accomplished beyond some small victories here and there. Yet they kept after it and finally even the popular media has started to pick up on the problems, as in they would give it a quick note and then bury the stories under the cover of it being ‘ehhh not to worry’. I can easily get caught in the too-many-links for one message filter so I will just give you three recent ones:

    1) https://www.wired.com/2016/08/americas-voting-machines-arent-ready-election/
    2) http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/09/technology/voting-machine-hack-election/index.html
    3) http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2016-election-day/hackers-find-security-flaws-some-voting-machines-n678901

    An audit will not do the job because it is too selective and cannot catch a problem in time to do any thing about it. Only a recount can accomplish that goal. We need a better system for voting.

    Reply
    • bmaz says:

      And you think a rote recount is going to accomplish your goals? Think again. Try checking what that really means in Wisconsin, absent an unlikely court order for more, and get back to me. I did that from the start, days ago.

      Reply
  7. jerryy says:

    The reply button is not responding…

    ‘your goals’ is plural. My goal (singular) :) would be to get a better method for voting in place. And yes, this recount will help accomplish just that. What that means in Wisconsin is that all parties involved are following the Wisconsin laws as put in place by ‘Wisconsin’. If it fails, it is on them for that because they built failure into the process. And we need it replaced with something better. We as in the US and we as in Wisconsin.

    The Democratic Party’s leadership really screwed up this time, look no further than Florida as evidence; … Sen. Rubio won. Sen. Rubio whose career was called completely finished by his own supporters. Given the feelings for Fidel Castro in southern Florida (dancing in the streets at the announcement of his death), Castro could have handily beaten Sen. Rubio, yet the Democratic Party’s leadership lost to Sen. Rubio. And again and again all over the US, they have lost seats in the senate and house. And in state legislatures as well (maybe not in North Carolina). The leadership brought this one on themselves, they encouraged non-affiliated/independents to vote for D. Trump in the open primaries while making sure their handpicked choices won in the closed primaries. They wanted this fight and it has come back on them.

    We need to make sure that the voting system can survive.

    Reply
  8. bmaz says:

    If your goal is to “get a better method for voting in place”, then you ought seek out a hell of a lot better vehicle than this sham. All your reply tells me is that you really don’t know what the relevant parameters are in Wisconsin without court expansion, which given the feeble basis alleged in the Stein petition, is highly unlikely, to be kind.

    The “Wisconsin laws as put in place”, without court expansion do not even come within a light year of effecting what you seek.

     

    Reply
    • Anon says:

      Sadly, in my experience voting laws, like court cases, do not allow for ideal clients and you have to go to the fight with what you have. In this case whatever Jill Stein’s motivations she is triggering the one method that exists to validate the result which is far more than either Clinton or Trump are willing to do. Is she the ideal vehicle, perhaps not, is this the best time, probably not, but it never is and it is only during elections that people actually think about the process of elections.

      In many respects you are right that strict recounts (really a reprint in the case of DRE-only jurisdictions) may shed little light on things. Much of the equipment used is crap and has never been designed for serious auditing or, in real terms, serious operational security or validity. In point of fact many of the DREs are so badly put together that what data you have is never ever reliable. But that said, DRE’s are subject to coding errors that can make tabulation incorrect and it is possible that problems can be uncovered, they have in the past. And by shining a light on the problems of these systems when people are actually looking then they may effect meaningful long-term change.

      Additionally, a recount does offer a chance to examine things like the provisional ballots and the way in which things like absentees and write-ins are handled. In many states the process of reconciling those is precinct-by-precinct and is subject to variation and on the spot challenges. Serious audits can uncover bias in these processes that can collectively flip things. They can also highlight discrepancies such as a big shift in votes from the DRE to the paper which raises questions that serious replacement of DREs can answer.

      We are all too quick to accept early election night results. Al Gore learned that the hard way. I cannot fault the recount for happening whatever Jill Stein’s motivations may be. And I cannot quibble with those in election security who are supporting it. Like it as not you have few opportunities to motivate change in electoral laws and this is one of them.

      Reply
  9. jerryy says:

    This recount (it has not been shown to be a sham as the petition has not been heard and responded to by the appropriate authorities) will show whether or not the votes cast were counted accurately and what if any problems exist.

    As I recall, legislatures pass laws and courts interprete them. Legislatures usually need prodding to fix bad laws and so,etimes courts are used to prod them.

    As we are writing back and forth, the lead story on Huffington Post is about D. trump’s advisor and D. Trump are okay with.voter suppression. Do you want to go. Into an election without making absolutely sure all of our votes count?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bannon-landowners-voting_us_583c7e19e4b09b6056017ffc?rf9x8nrxxjzzd7vi

    Reply
  10. lefty665 says:

    Certainly does not seem that a recount will tell us much beyond the error rate of optical scan readers and places where votes are counted by hand. Even then we won’t know which count was right, if either.  A DRE machine that’s been had will stay had. It seems very unlikely that a recount will shed any light on Russian, Repub, or other hacking of the vote.

    We’d be better off if we had routine audits that manually recounted a random sample of voting machines and that all voting machines made that possible. That might tell us something about the integrity of the voting process, but nothing about the legitimacy of who voted. But that has not been a real issue in a long, long time.

    Expect Trump is raising the issue of phony voters now to counter Stein/Clinton recount publicity. It certainly fits the MO he learned from Roy Cohn, attack, attack, attack. Accuse me of vote tampering and I’ll accuse you of tampering a thousand times more, especially since it also allows me to claim to be a “winner” rather than a “loser” of the popular vote. That is a twofer in Trump’s view. I am finding if the first tests of motivation for anything Trump says or does are Cohn and narcissism I don’t often need to look any deeper, they explain it elegantly.

    About the only virtue I can see in Stein’s frolic is that she has picked several million dollars out of the pockets of fat cat elite Dems. They will not be able to use that money to further corrupt the Democratic Party.

    You quote Sargent approvingly, but he quotes Kessler.  Kessler is such an unbelievable twit and dim bulb that he discredits anyone who associates themselves with him.

    Reply
      • bmaz says:

        Well, sure. But paper ballots are still, most commonly fed through OCR machines for tabulation. A hand recount, which has been, predictably due to late date and absence of any allegeable basis for mistake or fraud, denied by Wisconsin, will only run the same paper ballots through the same machines again. That does not add much, if anything. But agree, there should always be paper backup. Just saying that will not be the issue here.

        Reply
  11. jo6pac says:

    Lefty

    About the only virtue I can see in Stein’s frolic is that she has picked several million dollars out of the pockets of fat cat elite Dems. They will not be able to use that money to further corrupt the Democratic Party.

    That’s true but were does the money end up at since it’s not going into the normal Green Party piggy bank. I’m wondering have the Greens now become the gate keepers like in Europe and Canada? Only time will tell.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/28/the-stein-campaign-and-the-fight-for-green-party-independence/

     

    Reply
  12. Kokuanani says:

    The biggest obstacle to this getting anywhere may be deadlines. The recount petitions come on the very last day, and if they’re designed to generate enough evidence to contest the election, that’s going to be a stretch.

    Harvey, the election lawyer says the deadline for an election contest, which must spell out the specific conduct that merits overturning the result, is also Monday, Nov. 28. With a compelling case you can always ask the court to make an exception, but they tend to be pretty strict about election law — that thing about not changing the rules after the game is played.

    Harvey said Steins’ prospects for success are so remote that “raising money to do something in Pennsylvania must be intended only to publicize the Green Party.”

    Bmaz, I think you’ve made a formatting error that makes this confusing.  It appears to me that the last two paragraphs of this quote are YOUR text, yet you’ve set them up as if they’re from Harvey.  I don’t think he’d refer to himself in the third person.

    Just some proposed “editing for clarity.”

    Reply
  13. bmaz says:

    No, no editing necessary. If you click on the link for the quote, you will see that it is all within the source article, exactly as quoted.

    Reply
    • bmaz says:

      Dixon is a Green Party mainstay and one of Stein’s biggest endorsers. He is flat out smoking crack if he thinks this lame recount effort is going to accomplish any of the things he describes.

      Reply
  14. fritter says:

    Excellent analysis. Its nice to see a little rational thought brought into the discussion. If you swapped Clinton for Trump the same people would be horrified at the thought of a recount. Forget Stein, the country is telling the D party and its hangers-on something loud and clear that they refuse to listen to. Reform or face irrelevance. The days of taking the working class for granted are approaching their end.

    As for the recount, rushing a poorly planned opposition now will only provide justification for any disenfranchisement later on. Don’t screw up 2020 for your ego. bmaz has it right. Think, plan, and above all, nominate a candidate that people will actually vote for. tribalism is only good when your tribe is inclusive and fair. When you start filtering out the “deplorables” based on faulty ideology and elitism you end up with a tribe of 1.. % give or take.

    Reply
    • bmaz says:

      As for the recount, rushing a poorly planned opposition now will only provide justification for any disenfranchisement later on.”

      Sadly, that is exactly what I think is the case.

      Reply
  15. thomas smith says:

    when Trump and his people thought he would loose they said it is rigged, no that they have  “won” it is no longer “rigged??” the Green party and Jill Stein are the ONLY honest brokers here contrary to the stupid and nasty slurs by  folks like joe6pack etc. but most of the detractors would not recognize a honest party or person ; and the ones that do recogonize the honesty of the Green party and Jill Stein  hate them  because of that!!!

    Reply
  16. Jim Oberly says:

    Bmaz– A Dane County Circuit Court judge ruled against the Stein petition to force all 72 counties to do hand recounts.  The judge was not persuaded by expert testimony (the UM experts, Halderman and Mebane) provided at an evidentiary hearing that there was reason to believe that optical scanning machine re-tabulations are insufficient.  Nonetheless, most counties, 56 out of 72, will be doing so.

    From today’s (Madison) *Wisc State Journal*: “The 56 counties who have said they already plan to do full or partial hand recounts, account for about 60 percent of all votes. Another 13 counties, including Milwaukee, are only doing optical scan recounts, and the other three haven’t settled on a plan.”

    –Joberly (regular reader of Emptywheel, but lapsed poster because of health problems the last few years).

    Reply
    • bmaz says:

      Yes, saw that earlier, but thank you. Remember you well, very good to see you again, hope all health issues are resolving for you, and don’t be a stranger!

      The “full or partial” part is the key. WI law provides for machine tabulation on normal recounts with the exception of locations that have DRE machines (mostly for handicapped use). To the best of my current understanding, all normal votes will simply be machine tabulated again, as they originally were, but to any extent DRE devices were used, locations that did so as to a small percentage of their overall vote will confirm those DRE votes by a hand recount of the DRE paper trail. I think the figure of 60% hand recounted is wildly high and not taking into account actual WI law as to how each location is to proceed.

      Reply

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