Pennsylvania judge rejects Stein’s election recount request

Court ruling a blow to Green Party candidate who sought recheck of ballots in three states

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein speaks during a news conference outside Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York. File photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein speaks during a news conference outside Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York. File photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

 

A US judge in Pennsylvania on Monday rejected Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s request for a recount of the state’s ballots in last month’s presidential election and an examination of voting machines for evidence of hacking.

The decision came on the same day that Wisconsin election officials expect to complete that state’s recount, although the results will not change the outcome.

Ms Stein, who finished fourth in the election behind president-elect Donald Trump, had challenged the results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. All of those traditionally Democratic strongholds supported Mr Trump, the Republican candidate, on November 8th.

In a 31-page opinion, US district judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia said there was no evidence suggesting hacking had occurred. He also emphasised that the deadline to certify the state’s electoral votes is Tuesday, making it impossible to hold a recount in time. Mr Diamond said “suspicion of a ‘hacked’ Pennsylvania election borders on the irrational.” Ms Stein could appeal the court’s decision. Her campaign did not immediately comment.

The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday denied Ms Stein’s last-ditch appeal to secure a recount there.

Even if all three recounts had taken place, it was considered highly unlikely that they would flip the overall result from Mr Trump to Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

US presidential elections are determined not by the overall national popular vote but by the Electoral College, which awards votes based on the outcome in each state. Mrs Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.6 million ballots nationwide, according to the latest count.

Reuters