- Views & Opinions
Supporters of Donald Trump sued on Dec. 2, seeking to halt the presidential election recount taking place in Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign and Michigan’s attorney general were working to block a recount in that battleground state.
The filings in Wisconsin were made on behalf of Great America PAC, the Stop Hillary PAC and Wisconsin voter Ronald R. Johnson.
The complainants argue that the recount is unconstitutional — in violation of equal protection.
Eric Beach, co-chairman of Great America PAC, stated in a news release, “Jill Stein is clearly not entitled under statute to a recount and for the state board to allow it would be a massive waste of taxpayer resources in violation of the plain reading of the statute — Wisconsinites shouldn’t pay millions to line Jill Stein’s pockets.”
The suit argues that Wisconsin law for recounts is unconstitutional because it fails the Supreme Court’s test for equal protection in the recount process established in Bush v Gore, because the state board has expressed doubt it could complete the process in time and because doing so could deny Wisconsin voters their vote in the Electoral College.
The federal complaint seeks a temporary injunction that would halt the recount.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested the recounts in Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
Stein has argued that irregularities in the votes in those states suggest there could have been tampering with the vote, perhaps through a well-coordinated, highly complex cyberattack.
A statement on Stein’s website says there is a “significant need to verify machine-counted vote totals. To give you a sense of the problem, the voting machines used in Wisconsin were banned in California after they were shown to be highly vulnerable to hacking and malicious programming due to lacking security features. … This is about more than the results of this one election. This is about protecting our democracy and ensuring that ‘we the people’ can have confidence in reported results.”
Stein’s statement on the site reads, “After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable. These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified. We deserve elections we can trust.”
The deadline for the recounts to be complete is Dec. 12 because Dec. 13 is when states must certify their election results or have their electoral votes decided by Congress.
Wisconsin’s recount — the first candidate-driven statewide recount of a presidential election in 16 years — began on Dec. 1.
Most counties are manually recounting the ballots, although Stein lost a court challenge earlier this week to force hand recounts everywhere.
In Milwaukee County, the plan was to recount the ballots by feeding them through the same machines that counted them on election night.
Ballots were to be counted by hand in Dane County, where Clinton won 71 percent of the vote.
The reported returns — before the recount — showed Clinton lost to Trump by about 22,000 votes in Wisconsin.
Michigan’s board was meeting to address the Trump campaign’s opposition to Stein’s request for a hand recount of the ballot.
Additionally, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has called Stein’s request frivolous because, he said, she is not aggrieved — or not aggrieved enough.
Wisconsin Elections Commission recount updates can be found here.
Editor’s note: This story will be updated.