Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Clinton urged to demand recount in Michigan amid concerns of computer hacking

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2016 at 8:07 AM

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Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, it was Donald Trump who repeatedly said the election would be "rigged" in Hillary Clinton's favor. But now, a growing number of computer scientists and activists are calling for a recount in battleground states including Michigan, citing concerns that the results could have been skewed by foreign hackers.

The group is made up of lawyers, activists, and computer scientists, including Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan’s center for computer security and society. So far, he and others have declined to speak on the record. However, New York magazine reports that the group has lobbied with Clinton's team in private to urge her to call for a recount, and plans to deliver an 18-page report detailing the concerns to federal authorities early next week, according to The Guardian.

While the group has not found any evidence of computer hacking, they say their findings show disproportionate wins for Trump in counties that use electronic voting machines. The group says the irregularities are worth investigating, especially considering that the White House has officially accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Convention in order to interfere with the election.

In Wisconsin, for example, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that use electronic voting machines compared with counties that use optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on these findings, the group says Clinton could have missed as many as 30,000 votes. (She lost Wisconsin by 27,000.)

Michigan was part of the "Blue Wall" of traditionally Democratic-voting states including Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that Trump appeared to have narrowly won in a historic upset, though Michigan's votes have still not been completely tallied.

An audit would have to reveal Clinton wins in all three states to beat Trump's 290 Electoral College votes. Meanwhile, Clinton appears to have won the national popular vote by more than 2 million, according to the latest tallies — a large margin. (In 2000, Al Gore got 547,398 more of the popular vote than George W. Bush, but lost the Electoral College.)

Clinton would have to act swiftly to call for a recount: she must file by Friday in Wisconsin, Monday in Pennsylvania, and next Wednesday in Michigan.

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