Friday, December 16, 2016

Recount Fiascos Reveal the Profoundly Pathetic State of Voting in America

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recounts in the three states that gave Donald Trump his Electoral College majority have come to a close, not changing the official results and leaving the public even more wary about the integrity of American elections.

After several weeks, $7.3 million in donations from 161,000 donors, obstruction by top Republicans and Democrats, election officials who rejected the most accurate recount procedures, slights against communities of color where voting machines broke on Election Day but recounts were blocked afterward, new hacking pathways discovered, and unyielding responses by state and federal judges who didn’t think much of recounting votes or using best practices, Stein announced Tuesday that her presidential recount was mostly over—and now America needed to heed its lessons.

“What we are saying is simply that we have a right to a verified vote, and to a voting system that is accurate, secure and just,” Stein said. “There is enormous evidence that kind of voting system, which is accurate, secure and just, does not exist. You can look, for example, at the 87 [electronic ballot scanning] voting machines that failed in Detroit. This kind of mechanical failure is highly concentrated in communities of color. In fact, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission has said that the odds of your vote being miscounted or discounted are 900 percent greater in communities of color. This isn’t some hypothetical. This has been demonstrated over and over.”

Stein and the recount’s leaders and lawyers held a press conference to discuss the lessons learned on Tuesday, even as they are pursuing a federal lawsuit against Pennsylvania for what they say are its unconstitutional actions to stymie a recount. In Michigan, the Trump campaign and top GOP state officials forced its recount to shut down, even though it was not recounting all the paper ballots. Only Wisconsin finished, after more than tripling its fee and then failing to hand-count ballots in the most controversial jurisdictions.  Read full story here 

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