Wisconsin recount gives Donald Trump 131 more votes

Election officials reconfirm Republican candidate’s win after Green Party candidate Jill Stein pushed for a recount.

Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Press Conference on Recount Efforts
Green Party candidate Jill Stein had led efforts for recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania [EPA]

Election officials from the US state of Wisconsin have certified Donald Trump’s victory in the state, as a judge in Pennsylvania stopped a push for a recount there, putting an end to the Green Party candidate’s push for a closer look at the November 8 presidential election results.

The results in Wisconsin changed only slightly after election officials conducted a 10-day recount before reconfirming Trump as the official winner on Monday.

The head of the north-central state’s elections commission announced the results, saying Trump won by 22,748 votes, which is 131 votes more than the original margin between him and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump celebrated the result on Twitter: 

But according to American constitutional lawyer John Bonifaz, who appeared on the programme Democracy Now!: “While some counties have agreed to hand-count the ballots, other counties are not.”

According to Bonifaz, these counties are “feeding the ballots through the very same machines that gave us the tallies on election night.

“Ron Rivest, a leading computer scientist from MIT, says that’s like going to the same doctor for a second opinion,” Bonifaz, who’s also the founder of the National Voting Rights Institute, said on the programme. “It makes absolutely no sense to feed those same ballots through the machines and tell us that they’re recounting the votes.”

Jill Stein launches vote recount bid in key US states

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested the recount in Wisconsin, arguing that election machines could have been manipulated. Stein issued a statement saying she was disappointed that not all counties had conducted a full hand recount.

Bonifaz echoed Stein’s remarks: “What we needed in Wisconsin was a full statewide recount of all the ballots, hand-counted. And there are other systems in the state of Wisconsin, unlike in Michigan, that don’t have any paper ballots. They’re electronic voting systems. And they also exist in Pennsylvania. And these systems have been proven to be hackable and vulnerable for our overall integrity of our process.”

But Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen said Wisconsin voters could “have confidence that Wisconsin’s election results accurately reflect the will of the people, regardless of whether they are counted by hand or by machine.”

On Monday a federal judge rejected Stein’s initiative to secure a recount in Pennsylvania. Trump’s lawyers had filed a suit there seeking to deny Stein’s request.

Recount efforts were also thwarted in Michigan after another federal judge halted that drive, citing a lack of evidence that fraud or errors had occurred.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies