Recount efforts pointless, impede democracy

BY COLIN WRIGHT

Weeks after the US presidential election, Green Party Candidate Jill Stein has filed for a recount in three states. Stein claims that “[w]e need to verify the vote in this and every election so that Americans can be sure we have a fair, secure and accurate voting system.” However, a recount is futile and costly, as the results of the election are highly unlikely to change.

On November 9, 2016, Hillary Clinton delivered a formal concession speech to an audience of staff and supporters. In her introduction, she stated “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

The margins of victory for Donald Trump are nowhere near recount criteria. All three states would have to “turn blue” for the results of the election to change. Saying that the results from three states were compromised is undeniably outrageous.

Wisconsin recount
The state of Wisconsin had relatively close margins, making it a target for Stein’s recount effort.

The overall cost of doing a statewide recount, according to the Pew Center on the States, can reach costs of 15₵/ballot to around 40₵/ballot. With millions of votes to count, the total cost can amount to millions of dollars.

“The taxpayers in recount states should be outraged. First of all, there is an individual questioning the integrity of their voting process. Number two, it’s going to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in funds in addition to the funds brought forward by Stein,” says Mr. Burton.

Weeks after the election, the Clinton campaign has officially endorsed the recount effort. According to campaign attorney Marc Elias, the campaign is simply trying to ensure fair election results rather than contest the election.

During the final presidential debate on October 19, Donald Trump refused to say whether he would accept the results of the election. Hillary Clinton called this “horrifying.” This led to an outcry from both Democrats and Republicans.

At a campaign rally on October 24, Clinton stated “[Trump] became the first person, Republican or Democrat, who refused to say that he would respect the results of this election. Now, that is a direct threat to our democracy.” This is blatant hypocrisy, but unsurprising, given Clinton’s lengthy record of dishonesty and political pandering.

However, since Trump’s victory, the same people who spoke on how important it was to accept the results of a fair election are now pushing for a recount. What was once “dangerous to democracy” is now considered to be right and just.

Additionally, Democrats have always held strong the belief that there is no need for voting integrity reform. Legislation introduced by Republicans that would restrict voter fraud has been repeatedly dismissed. Opponents of these laws claim that they are racially motivated and make it difficult for those living in poverty to vote.

These laws would further ensure voting integrity and invalidate many claims of fraud, but are controversial and difficult to pass.

With all of the contention the American public has been faced with throughout this never-ending election cycle, it is time to move forward. The easy part of this is accepting the results of a fair election. That includes you, Mrs. Stein.