Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines

June 26, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

What’s Next for the Bill Cosby Sex-Assault Case?
Truthdig Bazaar
The Conscience of a Liberal

The Conscience of a Liberal

By Paul Krugman

more items
Email this item Print this item

Recount! Recount!

Posted on Nov 24, 2016

By Bill Boyarsky

  Debates about how absentee and provisional ballots are distributed and counted have long been part of broader national discussions on the subject of election reform. (Corey Taratuta / Flickr) (CC-BY)

Square, Story page, 2nd paragraph, mobile

As my family gathered for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, I knew that we’d be talking about whether to recount the presidential election results.

Jennifer, my daughter, is all for it and is enraged that major news outlets have been ignoring the story. Nancy, my wife, is outraged, too. She and Jennifer sent contributions to Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s recount campaign. John, my son-in-law, is adding his opinions, as are granddaughters Anabelle and Lila.

There will be no arguments over politics at our Thanksgiving dinner table. All of us were for Hillary Clinton. But I’m afraid I’m the old naysayer in that I don’t share their outrage, my mind encrusted with caution after decades as a mainstream journalist. My experience has taught me to be skeptical: Beware of conspiracy theories. The election is over. Quit mourning. Move on to resisting President-elect Donald Trump.

Square, Site wide, Desktop
Square, Site wide, Mobile
Yet I have second thoughts. What Jill Stein says deserves serious attention. When I interviewed her during the campaign, she offered intriguing, well-thought-out ideas, such as putting people to work in green industries through her Green New Deal

She has raised more than $4 million in an amazingly short time to finance recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. She said, as the British newspaper The Guardian reported Thursday, that there was “compelling evidence of voting anomalies” and “significant discrepancies in vote totals” released by state authorities. “These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 election is certified. We deserve elections we can trust,” she said.

READ: Jill Stein and Legal and Computing Experts Question Election Results, Call for Action

Warnings about election-rigging were raised throughout the campaign. Much of the concern was stirred up by Trump, who had warned of a “rigged” election and suggested he may not recognize the results if he lost. While he was engaged in his disruptive tactics, the Democratic National Committee’s computers and Clinton campaign chief John Podesta’s computer files were hacked, American intelligence agencies claimed, by the Russians.

I’ve reported on some of the fears being raised.

On Oct. 7, I wrote in a Truthdig column, “Vote-counting systems are antiquated and often poorly run … this adds up to investigations and lawsuits alleging miscounted votes and fraud, stretching beyond Election Day and making doubters even more skeptical of the results … even people who don’t buy the conspiracy theories are alarmed.” An organization called Election Justice USA alleged that hackers installed algorithms (a set of instructions) in vote-counting machines to increase Hillary Clinton’s vote and to deny Bernie Sanders the Democratic presidential nomination. It issued a report, “Democracy Lost: A Report on ohe Fatally Flawed Democratic Primaries” and collaborated on another report, “An Electoral System in Crisis.” The Election Justice USA website is tracking the Stein recount effort.

Concern grew, although it didn’t make it into the mainstream media. On Oct. 26, I reported on Truthdig about the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms’ hearings on possible vote-rigging. Most experts told the committee they didn’t think anyone could change the presidential vote. One dissenter was professor Andrew Appel of Princeton, who has studied the tampering of voting machines. He explained how someone could reprogram individual voting machines to change votes.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments
Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook