While the election recount Jill Stein is pushing is extremely unlikely to find actual difference in the vote tally, it’s going to cause a bit of a headache in what otherwise would be a smooth transition.
If states miss the deadline for certifying their electoral votes because they’re going through a recount, their electoral votes are nullified unless Congress decides to count them.
As the Gateway Pundit explains: Federal law says that presidential recounts must be completed within 35 days after an election. Stein waited until 90 minutes before the Wisconsin deadline expired for filing a recount petition.
All the votes have to be certified by December 13 according to a report on Friday. The electors meet on December 19. Wisconsin will almost certainly miss that deadline, since the last recount took more than a month. And that recount was for a state Supreme Court contest where only 1.5 million votes were cast.
If Wisconsin misses the December 19 deadline, the electoral votes may not be counted. Stein is going to ask for a hand recount, which will slow the process even further (although Wisconsin officials already said they won’t do it by hand.) If Wisconsin’s electoral votes are excluded on December 19, the state will then have to try and get Congress to include the votes in the January 6 count.
Of course, even in the worst case scenario, Trump would still have 296 electoral votes left, and nothing would be affected. However, if Michigan and Pennsylvania were to undergo a recount (as Stein wants), that would cause more turmoil.
Luckily in the case of Pennsylvania, state law requires three voters in each precinct or election district in Pennsylvania must submit a notarized affidavit to the clerk in their individual election districts in order to initiate a recount. Given that there are 9,163 precincts in Pennsylvania, this is a task that would be next to impossible.
But the main point remains: Congress will get to decide if the votes are counted or not, and Republicans won’t exactly have a hard time getting a majority vote on that. These crazy theories of nullifying electoral votes from Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania thus robbing Trump of the 270 majority are just that: crazy. Ain’t gonna happen.
While she has the potential to cause chaos, all Jill Stein’s “Recount 2016” is accomplishing is furthering herself.
In fact, an analysis from the Media Research Center found that Stein’s recount effort received 12 times more mainstream media attention than her entire presidential campaign did. She raised five million dollars in the process, and admits that any remaining funds will go to the Green Party for future campaigns and recruitment.
Is there any point to Stein’s recount aside from attempting to cause chaos while drawing attention to herself and raking in millions? We can’t find one either.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]