Could a recount change the result of the US elections?

By Gabisile Ngcobo
29 November 2016

The margins in these states were very close, according to reports.

In a shocking turn of events, Dr Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, has put in a request to the newly recent US election that votes should be counted again in Wisconsin. Jill, who described herself as a presidential candidate, activist, doctor and environmental health advocate, on Friday made the announcement on Twitter.

And in recent reports, Hillary Clinton is throwing her weight behind Jill.

Clinton’s campaign said it would participate in a recount process in Wisconsin and would join any potential recounts in two other closely contested states, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Here are Trump’s victory margins from the various Secretary of State Offices as of November 26:

Michigan: 10,704 votes.

Wisconsin: 22,177 votes.

Pennsylvania: 70,638 votes.

For Donald Trump, it was important to do well in Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, North Caroline and Ohio during the American election.

However, should Hillary’s Democratic Party come out tops at the recount, it will still not be enough to dethrone Donald.

Read more: Donald Trump is the new president of the United States It is only worth ten electoral votes in the election college. Jill, however, is also determined to have votes recounted in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Should the recount lead to victories for the Democrats in Michigan's 16 electoral votes and Pennsylvania's 20, the scale can certainly tip.

Although the Green Party acquired just a fraction more than 1% of the national vote, Jill made it clear that her request is not about undermining Donald's victory.

She said the reason she’s adamant about it is to verify the integrity of the American electoral system.

Read more: ‘It’s his mind I love’: Meet Melania Trump, America’s new first lady

She said experts considered the election system as vulnerable.

They apparently also refer to "unexplained high numbers where significantly fewer votes were cast" and "differences between the pre-elections poll and the official results."

"The substantial increase (where fewer people voted) may indicate a vulnerable electronic voter database," it is said in Jill's application of 64 pages.

She told CNN said the electronic database invites "hacking, delinquency and tampering"

The recount itself will be a costly episode. Millions of dollars will be needed to count the votes in all three states.

That means nearly 2 million ballots will be checked by hand to determine the outcome.

Read more: People are freaking out over this video of Donald Trump’s adorable 5-year-old granddaughter Arabella

Jill's website shows that half of the $ 7 million, or nearly R99 million has already been collected for.

It is sufficient to count on votes Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Franchise-right men John Bonifaz and J Alex Halderman, dismissed the probability of hacking around the voting results as false, despite rumours of Russian interference in the run-up to the election.

US officials say there is no evidence of election tampering in the three states where Donald achieved narrow victories over the Democrats. There is still nothing heard from the Trump camp around the recount of votes. Donald went on a Twitter rant, accusing Hillary of hypocrisy and called the recount push a "scam" and “ridiculous”. “Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change,” Donald tweeted.

Donald’s spokesperson, Jason Miller, said in an email that the “mere talk of a recount by someone who got less than 1%” and labelled Jill as a “joke”.

Dan Pfeiffer, a former political adviser to Barack Obama expressed his regret that Jill even waited until after the election before she expressed her concern about a few thousand votes for Donald.

He described it as a waste of time and funds for Jill, which would be better used in smaller, local elections for the Democrats.

The political experts believe that chances are slim for the recount to change the election outcome.

What are election votes?

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes needed to elect the president.

Every state in America has designated amount electors which are equivalent to the number of members in the congress delegation: one for each member of the House of Representatives and two for senators.

Sources: bbc.com, reuters.com, theguardian.com, cnn.com, nytimes.com, archives.gov/federal-register

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