Could a proposed recount in Pennsylvania, 2 other states help Clinton?


A group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers is reportedly urging Hillary Clinton to seek vote recounts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, arguing they have evidence that the results in those states were hacked or manipulated.

New York Magazine reports that the group includes voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society.

The magazine, quoting an unidentified source, said the experts held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case last Thursday. 

Members of the group did not go public until Friday, when Halderman posted a blog item criticizing aspects of the New York article and making a case for checking ballots to ensure hacking did not occur.

As to whether a cyberattack changed the results of this year's election, Halderman says, "probably not."

As New York notes: According to current tallies, [Donald] Trump has won 290 Electoral College votes to Clinton’s 232, with Michigan’s 16 votes not apportioned because the race there is still too close to call. It would take overturning the results in both Wisconsin (10 Electoral College votes) and Pennsylvania (20 votes), in addition to winning Michigan’s 16, for Clinton to win the Electoral College. There is also the complicating factor of “faithless electors,” or members of the Electoral College who do not vote according to the popular vote in their states. At least six electoral voters have said they would not vote for Trump, despite the fact that he won their states.

According to the latest count, Clinton leads Trump by 2 million votes in the popular vote.

Time is running out for seeking a recount. Friday is the deadline in Wisconsin. Monday in Pennsylvania and next Wednesday in Michigan.

In a series of Tweets, Nate Silver, the respected editor  of @FiveThirtyEight, throws cold water on the group's analysis.

And as New York notes, the Obama administration is opposed to a recount because it wants a smooth transition.