Politics

Federal Judge To Stein: No Pennsylvania Recount

| by Robert Fowler

A federal judge has rejected former Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein's request for a recount of the presidential election results in Pennsylvania. The court ruling marks the conclusion of Stein's efforts to hold a recount in three states, barring an appeal.

On Dec. 12, U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond blocked Stein's request to hold a recount of paper ballots from 17 Philadelphia counties, citing that she had waited too late to file for a recount and that she had not produced compelling evidence that the voting results had been tampered with, Philly.com reports.

In his written opinion, Diamond stated that Stein had "inexcusably waited well past the eleventh hour."

The federal judge noted that Stein had waited three weeks after the election before she filed for a recount, adding that granting her request with such a small timeframe could result in "all of the Pennsylvania's six million voters could be disenfranchised."

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Pennsylvania has until Dec. 13 to certify its election results, a deadline that it could have missed had the state followed through with Stein's requested recount.

"Dr. Stein has repeatedly stated that she has sought a Pennsylvania recount to ensure that every vote counts," Judge Diamond continued. "Granting her later than last minute request for relief, however, could well ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts."

The federal judge added that Stein had not provided sufficient evidence that Pennsylvania voting machines had been hacked, which was the crux of her request for a recount.

Diamond wrote that the expert that Stein had produced to back up her concerns "knew virtually nothing about Pennsylvania's security procedures, the practices of the Commonwealth's election officials, or the Pennsylvania Election Code."

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The district judge punctuated his written opinion with a scathing critique of Stein's request, deeming her filing to be unfair to Pennsylvania voters and ridiculing her justification for the recount.

"Granting her later than last minute request for relief, however, could well ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts," Diamond wrote. "Such a result would be both outrageous and completely unnecessary; as I have found, suspicion of a 'hacked' Pennsylvania election borders on the irrational."

President-elect Donald Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania by taking less than 1 percent more of the vote than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Stein, overall, garnered less than 1 percent of the state's votes.

Judge Diamond's ruling arrived on the same day as the results of Stein's requested recount in Wisconsin was slated to conclude, with 95 percent of the effort complete, turning up only 25 previously unaccounted for votes for Clinton. Stein's requested recount in Michigan was blocked by a judge a week earlier.

It is unclear whether Stein will appeal Diamond's Pennsylvania ruling. With one day before the state's election results are certified, her time may have run out.

Sources: CBS NewsPhilly.com / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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