Experts Claim Hack Rigged Election, Urge Clinton to Seek Recount

Hillary Clinton waving at the crowd

A group of data experts urges Hillary Clinton’s camp to seek a vote recount in three swing states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin – because a cyber attack might have rigged the election.

Nevertheless, the experts brought no evidence to back the idea of a cyber attack on voting machines or election results. On Wednesday, Clinton’s camp declined to comment on the hypothesis. They also refused to say whether they would call for a recount before the legal deadline.

Donald Trump won Wisconsin by a 17,000 vote lead, Pennsylvania by a 68,000 lead, and Michigan by nearly 11,000. Democrats were surprised to lose these three states which had consistently voted Democrat in recent presidential elections.

Experts J. Alex Halderman and John Bonifaz, however, think the election might be rigged in these states. Halderman is the head of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society. Both analysts contacted Clinton’s team this week making a case for a recount.

The two experts claim that Clinton got fewer votes than expected in several regions due to compromised voting machines. On the other hand, Halderman acknowledged the team had no evidence of a hack or election mishaps. The duo thinks a recount would be good to remove any suspicions.

Halderman said the only method to find whether a hack occurred or not would be to analyze “available physical evidence” such as voting units and paper ballots in the three “critical” states. Still, states approve recounts only if the candidates push for one as they are very costly and resource consuming. Wisconsin, though, pledged to run an audit of its results.

Trump’s transition team has yet to reply to a request for comment.

How Tump Won the Rust Belt

Trump’s rhetoric resonated with the Rust Belt. Trump paid special attention to Pennsylvania voters, and visited Michigan and Wisconsin days before the Election Day. His efforts paid off as the white working class in the three states cast their ballots in his favor.

Pundits and pollsters failed to predict the phenomenon. So, many pre-election polls showed Trump trailing behind Clinton. Halderman thinks Trump’s victory was so shocking because “the polls were systematically wrong.”

If Democrats plan to push for a recount they’ll have to move quick. In all three battleground states, the deadline for a recount is approaching. Wisconsin’s deadline is this Friday. Green Party candidate Jill Stein started a fundraising campaign Wednesday to sponsor the recounts.

Experts think a cyberattack aimed at electronic voting machines could have rigged the election process. The team suggests these machines can be compromised regardless whether there is an Internet connection or not. Yet, the voting equipment generates a paper record which can tell whether vote counts were accurate.

In Pennsylvania, however, 96 percent of electronic voting systems do not produce a paper trail. Wisconsin has paper trails, while Michigan uses only paper ballots, which is the safest option. Authorities in all three states said they received no requests for recounts, but they ordered audits to raise public confidence in election results.

Image Source: Flickr