US President-elect Donald Trump victories certified in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania as court blocks recount in Michigan

Dec 13, 2016
Green Party leader Jill Stein's bid for a vote recount in Michigan was blocked by the court.
Green Party leader Jill Stein’s bid for a vote recount in Michigan was blocked by the court.

President-elect Donald Trump’s victories in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were certified Monday, further affirming his win over Democrat Hillary Clinton in last month’s presidential election.

Wisconsin finalised its recount, which showed Trump beating Clinton by more than 22,000 votes, on the same day that a federal judge issued a stinging rejection of a Green Party-backed request to recount paper ballots in Pennsylvania’s presidential election and scan some counties’ election systems for signs of hacking.

Later Monday, Pennsylvania certified the state’s results in the Nov 8 election, which saw Trump defeat Clinton by more than 44,000 votes.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein successfully requested, and paid for, the Wisconsin recount.

In addition to her failed Pennsylvania recount attempt, Stein’s bid for a similar statewide recount in Michigan was blocked by the courts.

Stein only got about 1% of the vote in each of the three states, which Trump swept on his way to the White House.

She argued, without evidence, that voting machines in all three states were susceptible to hacking.

Donald Trump sweeping victory over Hillary Clinton in US Presidential Election 2016 was further reaffirmed in vote recount in Wisconsin.
Donald Trump sweeping victory over Hillary Clinton in US Presidential Election 2016 was further reaffirmed in vote recount in Wisconsin.

The numbers barely budged in Wisconsin after nearly three million votes were recounted.

Trump picked up a net 131 votes and the final results changed just 0.06%.

In Pennsylvania, US 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.

Suspicion of a hacked Pennsylvania election “borders on the irrational” while granting the Green Party’s recount bid could “ensure 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.

“Most importantly, there is no credible evidence that any `hack’ occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised,” Diamond wrote.

He also said the lawsuit suffered from a lack of standing, potentially the lack of federal jurisdiction and an “unexplained, highly prejudicial” wait before filing last week’s lawsuit, four weeks after the Nov 8 election.

President-elect Donald Trump's victories in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were certified on Monday.
President-elect Donald Trump’s victories in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were certified on Monday.

The decision was the Green Party’s latest roadblock in Pennsylvania after hitting numerous walls in county and state courts.

Green Party-backed lawyers argue that it was possible that computer hackers changed the election outcome and that Pennsylvania’s heavy use of paperless machines makes it a prime target.

Stein also contended that Pennsylvania has erected unconstitutional barriers to voters seeking a recount.

A lawyer for the Green Party said Monday they were disappointed and unable to immediately say whether they would appeal.

“But one thing is clear,” said the lawyer, Ilann Maazel.

“The Pennsylvania election system is not fair to voters and voters don’t know if their votes counted, and that’s a very large problem.”

A federal judge halted Michigan’s recount last week after three days.

Trump won Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes out of nearly 4.8 million votes cast.

It was not immediately clear when the state would certify its results.