A Wisconsin judge rejected a request for a hand recount by Dr. Jill Stein citing no evidence or reason for why there should even be one. Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn said the request, which was backed by Hillary Clinton and her campaign, failed to meet the state’s legal standard for prohibiting the use of machines in the recount.
Judge Bailey-Rihn, while admitting a hand recount was likely more thorough, said the two campaigns did not show why it was necessary because there is no “clear and convincing evidence” of fraud or other problems.
“I follow the law. That’s who I am despite my personal opinions,” said Judge Bailey-Rihn, who was just elected to the bench last spring. “It’s (the counties’) decision. It’s their discretion. I may disagree with it … but I must follow the law.”
Stein, who has raised nearly $7 million (more than her entire campaign), is pushing for recounts in The Badger State, Michigan and Pennsylvania. She also said the voting machines are illegal, a claim that has been laughed out of the courtroom. Debbie Greenberger, the Stein campaign attorney, said she was not sure whether Stein would appeal.
Meanwhile, Clinton and her campaign initially stated they would not pursue a recount anywhere because “we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology.”
They still haven’t.
Last weekend, the Obama administration said that there was no unusual cyber activity or evidence to indicate hacking occurred on election night. The White House added that the president believes the results reflect the will of the American people.
Most suspect the Clinton campaign is using Stein as a pawn, though there is not direct evidence they are funding the operation. However, Clinton sent out an email fundraiser claiming they need “all hands on deck” for a recount in Michigan.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin filed an FEC complaint Wednesday alleging Jill Stein is allowing her campaign to be used as a front for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the recount effort. Stein denied the allegations, but even her own party is distancing themselves from her and her efforts.
“It is concerning that the Stein campaign would position itself to front and fund a recount attempt that only serves the interest of a desperate and defeated Clinton campaign,” the complaint states. “Further, it is incredibly disturbing that given these asymmetrical interests, the Clinton campaign would readily begin organizing around the effort in order to capitalize on the chaos created by this attempt to undermine the integrity of Wisconsin’s elections process.”
The Wisconsin Republican Party also argued Stein’s actions amount to a coordinated $3.5 million expenditure on behalf of the Clinton campaign, in excess of the $2,000 amount allowed by federal campaign donations laws.
While stating that they support electoral reforms, the Green Party released a statement essentially calling the effort a waste of time and drew a line between them and Stein.
“There are significant electoral reforms needed to make elections more democratic and more representative of the people. While we support electoral reforms, including how the vote is counted, we do not support the current recount being undertaken by Jill Stein,” the statement on their website said. “The decision to pursue a recount was not made in a democratic or a strategic way, nor did it respect the established decision making processes and structures of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).”
The Green Party noted how Stein’s effort give the appearance she is shilling for Clinton, particularly since the states that she chose to request a recount in are all states that Clinton lost to President-elect Donald J. Trump.
“As a candidate, Dr. Stein has the right to call for a recount. However, we urge the GPUS to distance itself from any appearance of support for either Democrats or Republicans,” the statement added. “We are well aware of the undemocratic actions taken during the primaries by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. Greens cannot be perceived to be allied with such a party.”