According to various reports, election lawyers are citing “persuasive evidence” from computer scientists indicating that the results of the 2016 Presidential Election were hacked. Claiming to have uncovered “persuasive evidence” that suggests election results were hacked in three big battleground states that swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald J. Trump, a prominent group of election attorneys and computer scientists are pressing Hillary Clinton to ask for a recount in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
In a Wednesday post, computer scientist Alex Halderman, a leading expert on the security of voting systems, argues that there should be a recount. The first step, he argues, is for the Clinton campaign to request recounts in key swing states.
“Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not,” Halderman writes. “I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked.” But he argues that a recount is the best way to make sure.
The last time an official recount was done was in the 2000 election. Afterward, Congress reportedly provided states with billions of dollars to improve their voting systems. Most states then upgraded to touchscreen voting machines which were criticized heavily in 2006 by Princeton researchers claiming they provide inaccurate results and are easily hack-able.
Most states allow candidates to request a recount in the event of a close election. If the result is very close, the state will often cover the costs of the recount. Otherwise, the candidate has to pay for the costs of the recount. In Wisconsin, for example, a candidate must pay for the recount if the margin of victory was larger than 0.5 percent.
Clinton would need to win Michigan and overturn the results in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to win the electoral college.
Another factor is so-called “faithless electors” who will not vote for the candidate which won in the popular vote in their state. So far, six electoral college voters said they would not vote for Mr Trump. Meanwhile more than 4.5 million people have signed a petition for more electoral college delegates to defy the instructions given to them in their state.
Heba Abedin, the sister of Ms Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin, called on Facebook for people to phone the justice department and request an audit of the vote.
On Facebook, Huma Abedin's sister, Heba Abedin, encourages her followers to call the Justice Department to have vote in key states audited. pic.twitter.com/y4BPazFPmL
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 22, 2016