For a lot of people around the world and in the US, the result of this month’s presidential election came as a surprise. But some academics, activists, and computer scientists insist that Trump didn’t actually beat Hillary Clinton, and are asking for recounts or audits in three key states where they say the votes were manipulated by foreign hackers.
New York Magazine reports that a group of computer scientists and election lawyers are urging Hilary Clinton’s campaign to call for vote recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The group says that the Democrat received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic voting machines compared to counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots, suggesting the possibility of a hack.
While the group acknowledges that there is no conclusive evidence of hacking, it believes the pattern needs to be examined by an independent review.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that a loose coalition of experts is preparing to deliver a report to congressional committee chairs and federal authorities next week that focuses on concerns over the results in the three states.
“I’m interested in verifying the vote,” said Dr Barbara Simons, an adviser to the US election assistance commission and expert on electronic voting. “We need to have post-election ballot audits.”
In October, the US Intelligence Community blamed the Russian government for a series of high-profile cyberattacks that were apparently aimed at influencing the election. US officials followed this up with a dire warning to Russia, promising to attack the country’s key systems if it was found to have interfered directly with the vote itself.
In the months leading up to the election, opinion polls had Clinton leading Trump in the three swing states, but she ultimately lost Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by a narrow margin. A final result has still not been declared in Michigan as the results were so close, but it may still go to the Republican side.
Clinton has given no indication that she intends to challenge the election result, and Trump’s transition team haven’t responded to questions. The three states have between Friday and next Wednesday to file for a vote recount.