Green Party’s Jill Stein to the rescue with push for three-state recount

Updated below (on Friday, November 25, 2016)

Although on November 8 she garnered only around 1 percent of the presidential vote — and although she was shit and pissed upon mercilessly by the shameless, anti-democratic, Democrat-in-name-only, “feminist” Billarybots — two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein (shown above) is pushing for a recount in three battleground Rust-Belt states that some experts say Billary Clinton might actually have won: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And thus far Stein has raised more than $4.3 million for the recount effort while Team Billary, of course, has done exactly nothing.

As has been reported for the past day or two or three, “A group of election lawyers and data experts has asked Hillary Clinton’s campaign to call for a recount of the vote totals in three battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — to ensure that a cyberattack was not committed to manipulate the totals.”

Deadlines for requesting — and paying for — recounts in these three states are quickly approaching, with Wisconsin’s deadline being tomorrow, according to The Associated Press.

Just as Al Gore essentially rolled over and played dead apparently in order to stay “above it all” (my words) in 2000 when George W. Bush & Co. blatantly stole the White House (with a deficit in the popular vote of more than 500,000), thus far Team Billary similarly pussily hasn’t requested any recount, of course (and the deficit in the popular vote this time thus far is more than 2 fucking million).

To the potential rescue has come Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who, although of course no recount will put her in the White House, has the standing to request recounts in these states because she appeared on their November 8 ballots.

It’s quite possible that the recounts will turn up nothing, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they turned up some surprising shit. Malfeasance or “innocent error” (my words) certainly would explain how the pussy-grabbing Donald J. Trump “beat” Billary Clinton in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, when Wisconsin hadn’t gone to a Repugnican since 1984, Michigan hadn’t gone to a Repugnican since 1988, and ditto for Pennsylvania.

As of this writing, Stein has raised more than $4.3 million in donations for recount efforts in the three states.

Establishmentarians are scoffing, of course, because, just as we were supposed to do in 2000, we commoners are just supposed to shut the fuck up while the White House possibly has been stolen yet again. We’re certainly not supposed to point out that it’s possible that a presidential election still can be stolen, because such information is inconvenient and possibly even — gasp! — unsettling!

Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania together have 46 electoral votes. Should it turn out that Billary actually won them, that would boost her current electoral vote count from 232 to 278 — meaning that she, not Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, won the Electoral College.

Even if it turns out that just one of these three states actually has flipped to Billary, it it puts the entire presidential election into question (as if Billary’s 2-million-plus popular-vote lead hasn’t done that already!).

The recounts are worth it. At the very least, presumably they’d give us some degree of insight into how much we can — or cannot — trust our presidential elections.

I’ve given $20 to the recount effort; I encourage you to give to the effort too if you can.

Stein’s recount fundraising page right now says that the cost of the Wisconsin recount has been covered through the donations received thus far, and says that the recount request deadlines are tomorrow for Wisconsin, Monday for Pennsylvania, and Wednesday for Michigan.

This thing is worth a shot. Democracy — true, actual democracy — is worth it.*

Update (Friday, November 25, 2016): Politico reports that today Jill Stein filed her recount petition in Wisconsin.

Interestingly, though, the Politico writer, a Zach Montellaro, apparently can’t help himself from editorializing throughout his “reportage.” He notes that Stein “barely [made] the 5 p.m. EST deadline,” as though that were relevant (it would have been newsworthy had she missed the deadline), and he feels it important to note all of the fundraising webpage’s changes and updates, even though this (the plan to request a three-state recount) has been a rather fast-moving and quickly changing last-minute development — and even though it’s unprecedented, to my knowledge.

Montellaro also used this slanderous language in his “reportage”: “On the back of a debunked fear of election tampering in key swing states, the Green Party presidential candidate raised nearly $5 million to fund a recount effort.”

“Election tampering in key swing states” has not been debunked, not with actual physical evidence, and while Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com widely has been quoted as having thrown cold water on the idea that some swing states’ reported vote totals are wrong, fivethirtyeight.com actually concluded thusly:

… It’s possible nonetheless that the election was hacked, in the sense that anything is possible. (And the best hackers are experts in erasing their tracks.)

Maybe hackers knew which control variables we’d look at and manipulated the vote in a way that it would look like it was caused by race, education and population driving different voting preferences.

Maybe hackers didn’t manipulate the share of votes in individual counties, but rather the turnout, increasing the number of votes in counties likely to favor one candidate or another.

Maybe some irregularities at the county level in early Wisconsin vote-counting are signs of wider problems. Maybe we’d find something if we dug down to the precinct level, or if we looked at other states with mixed voting systems.

But at a time when the number of voters without confidence in the accuracy of the vote count is rising, the burden of proof ought to be on people claiming there was electoral fraud.

The paradox is that in our current electoral system, without routine audits, seeking proof requires calling for a recount, which in itself can undermine confidence in the vote.

Fivethirtyeight.com got it right there until it totally pussed out at the end for whatever reason or reasons (knee-jerk, self-serving establishmentarianism, apparently, but who knows?).

“The burden of proof ought to be on people claiming there was electoral fraud,” but when they don’t have access to the voting system equipment, computers, ballots, etc. — which are in the sole possession of local governmental entities — how, exactly, can they prove their allegations without being in possession of the physical evidence?

And which is more important: “confidence in the accuracy of the vote count” (which easily could be just blind confidence) or a good reason to have confidence in the vote?

There apparently is a widespread belief (which has persisted at least since the 2000 theft of the White House) that it’s more important to have quick election results that aren’t questioned — you know, so that we don’t “undermine confidence in the vote” — than that we have election results that are accurate, and that’s incredibly fucked up.

Anyway, again, the subtext of Politico’s Montellaro’s “reportage” is to cast aspersions upon Stein, apparently. Among other things, he snidely notes that much of the money that Stein has been raising — more than $5.2 million thus far, per Stein’s recount fundraising webpage as I type this sentence — will go toward lawyers’ fees, as though it were Stein’s fault that you need lawyers to handle this shit and that lawyers, always the opportunists, frequently go on their legal-fee feeding frenzies.

I just gave another donation to the recount effort. That’s what unfair, hypocritical, usually establishmentarian attacks on people who have courage and who are trying to do the right thing often spur me to do.

P.S. Politico does make one interesting, fairly newsworthy note, which it saves for the very last paragraph; it reports that Jill Stein has raised more money for the three-state recount than she raised for her 2016 presidential bid.

I mean, that’s interesting. How relevant it is I’m not sure, but it’s interesting.

But it’s also interesting that enough people have questioned the “official” November 8 presidential election results that thus far they have donated more than $5 million to have the votes in three swing/Rust-Belt states recounted — and that they have done this outside of the partisan duopoly of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party. (On that note, it recently was reported on MSNBC that the Obama White House encouraged Billary Clinton to concede to Donald Trump quickly you know, in order to avoid ugliness, because, you know, it’s more important to avoid ugliness and to remain “above it all” than it is to have elections in which the winners, and not the losers, actually take office.)

Again: Democracy is worth it; $5 million is chump change toward what election integrity is worth.

Anyone who has read me for the past year-plus knows that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton, but while Team Billary and the Billarybots totally fucked Bernie Sanders out of the party’s presidential nomination, the fact remains that on November 8 Billary Clinton indisputably won the popular vote by a huge margin, and Trump’s reported wins in the traditionally Democratic Rust-Belt states look suspicious enough to double check.

*Jill Stein’s fundraising webpage for the recount effort gives this important background information:

In 2004, the Cobb/LaMarche [Green Party presidential] campaign demanded a recount in Ohio. Because of their efforts, an election administrator went to jail. We also exposed the profound problems with DRE machines [link is mine], which helped launch an election integrity movement. That provoked California to engage in a “top-to-bottom” review of [its] voting system, which culminated in the abolition of DRE machines.

The Green Party Platform calls for “publicly-owned, open source voting equipment and deploy it across the nation to ensure high national standards, performance, transparency and accountability; use verifiable paper ballots; and institute mandatory automatic random precinct recounts to ensure a high level of accuracy in election results.”

Election integrity experts have independently identified Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as states where “statistical anomalies” raised concerns. Our effort to recount votes in those states is not intended to help Hillary Clinton.

These recounts are part of an election integrity movement to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is. [Emphasis is mine.]

All money raised goes toward recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We hope to do recounts in all three states. If we only raise sufficient money for two, we will demand recounts in two states. If we only raise enough money for one, we will demand a recount in one state.

We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states.

If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.

Here are the filing fees and deadlines for each state:

  • Wisconsin: $1.1 million by November 25 [tomorrow]
  • Pennsylvania: $0.5 million by November 28 [Monday]
  • Michigan: $0.6 million by November 30 [Wednesday]

Those are filing fees alone. The costs associated with recounts are a function of state law. Attorney’s fees are likely to be another $2 million to $3 million, [and] then there are the costs of the statewide recount observers in all three states. The total cost is likely to be $6 million to $7 million. …

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