The recount in Philadelphia’s most overwhelmingly Democrat districts — even for overwhelmingly Democrat Philadelphia, where Mitt Romney got zero votes 2012 — has been completed.
To be clear, this is the recount happening at the district level — not the state-wide recount Stein is pursuing, which is on a separate track.
In the recount of 75 districts in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton has gained a whopping five votes.
The great Philadelphia recount has ended, and Hillary Clinton got five more votes than she had in her previous total.
Donald Trump’s number stayed the same, as did the totals for Independent candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein after the City Commissioners Office recounted votes in 75 of Philadelphia’s more than 1600 voting divisions. The recount had been launched by 250-plus Philadelphia residents answering the call of Stein, who asked for three petitioners in each of Pennsylvania’s voting district to file recounts to assist in her attempts to get a statewide recount through a Commonwealth Court and then Federal Court lawsuit.
Stein’s camp had planned on using the district-level recounts as possible evidence for hacking or fraud. The recount turned up no instances of fraud or hacking here, City Commissioner Al Schmidt said, emphasizing the difficulty of hacking voting machines that aren’t connected to the internet.
So, you might be wondering, what accounts for the five new votes that turned up for Hillary?
The five extra votes for Clinton, he said, came from paper provisional or absentee ballots that were undetected by the optical scanner that counted votes in the days following the election. Schmidt said this can happen when people don’t mark their choices clearly on paper ballots or, ridiculous as it sounds, use a green highlighter instead of a pen or pencil.
The markings that went undetected by the optical scanner were picked up by the manual recount.
“People do ridiculous things,” he said, “all the time.”
Ridiculous indeed — as if voting for Hillary Clinton wasn’t bad enough.
But not nearly as ridiculous as, after garnering a mere 1% of the vote, wasting millions of dollars (of Other People’s Money, of course) — not to mention time, energy and focus — to drive a Quixotic recount effort, in the face of no evidence of hacking or fraud.
Talk about ridiculous.
[This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]