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With recount efforts brewing in three states, what now?

November 27, 2016 at 4:17 PM EST
While they do not anticipate the outcome of the election will change, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has agreed to participate in an effort to recount ballots in states that were crucial to President-elect Donald Trump’s win. NPR’s political reporter Tamara Keith joins Alison Stewart for more analysis.
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ALISON STEWART, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: Joining me now for more analysis of the recount efforts brewing in three states is NPR political reporter Tamara Keith.

Tamara, let’s go back to Jill Stein’s website, because this is where this all started. It says the recount is needed in, quote, “three states where there is a significant need to verify machine counted vote totals,” end quote.

So, there are two notable things about that sentence. Significant is underlined and the machine counted votes. What’s the subtext here?

TAMARA KEITH, NPR POLITICAL REPORTER: She is definitely out to prove whether or not there was any tampering with the vote process. The Clinton campaign has looked into these things as well and they concluded that there wasn’t any sort of widespread evidence of tampering or hacking or rigging or any of those words that were thrown around leading into the election. The Clinton campaign’s conclusion was that they would not ask for a recount.

Jill Stein though felt that a recount was in order to verify the integrity of the voting process and the voting systems.

STEWART: As you mentioned, the Clinton campaign’s general counsel wrote in a lengthy post on Medium that they have done their own forensic analysis, they stand by the results, but they are going to send lawyers to be present.

KEITH: Well, I think any reasonable campaign probably would do that and it’s entirely possible that Donald Trump’s campaign ultimately will send lawyers as well, because if there is a recount happening and your candidate is on the ballot, then it makes sense for the campaign if they have the funds to do it to send lawyers to be in court for hearings that may relate to how votes are recounted or processed.

STEWART: Can you walk us through the nuts and bolts process of this, what’s going to happen in Wisconsin, and then possibly in Michigan and Pennsylvania?

KEITH: Yes, so what’s happening right now is that the Elections Commission in Wisconsin has reached out to — there are hundreds of local municipal and county elections officials, registrars who are being asked to calculate the cost for this because it’s going to be sort of an extensive process. And then when the cost is figured out, both Jill Stein and Rocky De La Fuente, who is another independent candidate who also filed for a recount, they’ll be asked to split the cost. If they have the funds which they say they do, to move forward with paying for the recount, then the recount would begin.

It’s likely to take several weeks and the Elections Commission in Wisconsin has already told local officials that they should be prepared to work nights and weekends to get this done.

There could be legal hearings, disputes about exactly how the counting takes place and that will all play out in the coming days. And then, there are deadlines coming up in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Stein has said that she will file in those states as well. And she even tweeted that she would look to file for recount physician the funds are available in any state that has a deadline left to come.

So, this could be a big thing but here’s the important part. It is highly unlikely to change the results of the election.

STEWART: So, what does Jill Stein get out of all of this?

KEITH: Well, Jill Stein is drawing attention to the election process, to the Green Party. The Green Party and Jill Stein now has a much bigger list of people and people who have given money to this effort. What they would do with that is unclear but lists are very valuable in politics.

STEWART: Tamara Keith from NPR, thanks so much.

KEITH: You’re welcome.

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