Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pressure mounting for presidential election recounts in a key 2016 swing state

Pressure is mounting to re-examine the presidential vote in Wisconsin, where a series of screenshots posted Tuesday showed electronically tallied countywide counts erroneously added in thousands more votes to the totals than the ballots cast.

“It doesn’t garner public confidence to see errors like this in election results, especially in a close battleground state,” wrote Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor and voter turnout expert, who on Tuesday posted an image of the electronically calculated count in Sauk County, Wisconsin, showing 2,700 more votes tallied than ballots cast.

“My guess is that in Wisconsin, the Trump lead narrows when provisional ballots are counted (not enough by themselves). Fixing errors in certification could go either way,” he continued. “I know the Clinton campaign is monitoring this, so if they think the Wisconsin results merit recount, they will do so… Here’s the real problem, though: Clinton also needs another large battleground state (Florida or Pennsylvania), but that doesn’t seem possible, because the margins are too much… So, even if Clinton had a realistic chance of flipping Wisconsin in a recount, her campaign would probably not do it since one state is not enough alone.”

Election night’s unofficial returns found Trump ahead of Clinton by 27,000 votes in Wisconsin. In Michigan, she is behind by 11,000 votes, and in Pennsylvania by 68,000 votes. These three states were critical in giving Donald Trump his Electoral College majority.

McDonald’s tweet was not the only one surfacing Tuesday showing this over-counting anomaly. As Susan Eraslan wrote after pasting similar screenshots, “The numbers display that in 3 precincts in Outagamie County, all won by DT, more votes were counted for president than cast. Follow-up tweets found 1,500 more votes tallied than ballots cast, but soon after those screen shots were posted they were said to be corrected—or deleted.”


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