MS Risk Blog

US Presidential Election: Activists Call for Recount

Posted on in United States title_rule

United States activists have called for a recount in battle ground states where Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, over concerns that the ballot may have been skewed by foreign hackers.

According to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, a “growing number of academics and activists” are calling for an audit of the results in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Dr Barbara Simons, an adviser to the US election assistance commission and expert on electronic voting, was quoted as stating “I’m interested in verifying the vote…We need to have post-election ballot audits.” According to a CNN report a group of scientists, including J Alex Halderman, director of the University of Michigan Centre for Computer Security and Society, has privately told the Clinton campaign that it believes there was a “questionable trend.” Data experts are now asking why Mrs Clinton performed worse in counties that relied on electronic voting machines compared to paper ballots and optical scanners. While there has been no evidence found of hacking, experts argue that an independent audit is required. The group of scientists has reportedly informed Mrs Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, that she received 7% fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic voting machines, suggesting that they may have been hacked.

Mrs Clinton admitted defeat just hours after the election on 8 November. She lost to Mr Trump by at least 58 votes in the all-important electoral college tally, which is decided on a state-by–state basis. She did however win the popular vote by at least 1 million ballets. According to the LA Times, California still has to complete its official count, because of its complex electoral laws, however the state has already been called for Mrs Clinton.

During the election campaign, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began an investigation into allegations that Russians had hacked the private email of John Podesta.   The hacked communications, which portrayed the Clinton campaign in an unflattering light, were later published by WikiLeaks.

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