President-elect Donald Trump’s allies are trying to stop a recount effort headed by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Those allies—including Michigan’s attorney general—have filed lawsuits and legal briefs in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
The legal claims vary a little state by state, but here’s the gist of what Trump backers are arguing: It’s too late in the process to start a recount, no evidence suggests the results of election were tampered with, and Jill Stein can’t call for a recount because there’s no chance the outcome will change for her.
The recount effort will probably move forward in Wisconsin, but could be halted in Pennsylvania according to legal experts who spoke with The Atlantic.
“From strongest to weakest where strongest means most likely to stop the recount effort, I would rate them Pennsylvania, then Michigan, then Wisconsin,” Edward Foley, an election law expert at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, said, though he cautioned that it’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen. “The hardest case to stop the recount seems to be Wisconsin since the federal claims in federal court are more novel and unusual,” he added.
Jerry Goldfeder, a professor at Fordham University’s School of Law, similarly commented that legal actions against a recount seem most likely to succeed in Pennsylvania. But in an e-mail exchange, Goldfeder, who was a member of Hillary Clinton’s New York Leadership Council, noted that opposition to the recounts is probably unnecessary since, as he put it, Stein’s efforts appear to be “futile.”
Some of the faith Americans have in the electoral system has been shaken considering Russia’s interference with our elections, Trump’s assertion before election day that the election would be rigged, and our president-elect’s ridiculous assertion that millions voted illegally. A recount almost certainly will not change the outcome of the election, but it will help quell concerns anything untoward happened with the vote totals. If anything, Trump and his allies should be supporting the recount if they don’t believe anyone interfered with the elections, as that would further legitimize his win.