Donald Trump supporters seek to halt Jill Stein's recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania

Green Party leader Jill Stein is seeking a recount in three states

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Friday 02 December 2016 17:03 GMT
Mr Trump's supporters are seeking to block recounts in three states
Mr Trump's supporters are seeking to block recounts in three states (Getty)

Supporters of Donald Trump have tried to stop or prevent election recounts in each of the three states where Green Party leader Jill Stein and the campaign of Hillary Clinton have asked for an audit.

Ms Stein and her backers have filed suits seeking a manual recount of ballots in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, contests that were expected to be won by Ms Clinton but where Mr Trump secured narrow victories on election night.

Ms Stein has said she does not believe the recounts will alter the outcome of the election, which Mr Trump cemented by means of an Electoral College win of 306-232. Yet she said amid claims of potential hacking of the system, the integrity of the voting operation should be tested.

A recount got underway this week in the state of Wisconsin
A recount got underway this week in the state of Wisconsin (AP)

“Our goal is not to change the result of the election,” Ms Stein said this week. “It is to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the vote.”

On Friday, Mr Trump’s supporters sought to block or stop the recounts in each of the three states.

The Associated Press said that the legal actions seeking to halt the recounts could cause delays that would make them extremely difficult or impossible to complete on time.

Wisconsin is the only state where a recount is underway. It began Thursday, and one of the state’s 72 counties had already completed its task by Friday, the AP said, with Ms Clinton gaining a single a vote on Trump. Ms Clinton lost to Mr Trump in Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes, or less than 1 per cent.

Two pro-Trump groups, the Great America PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC, along with Wisconsin voter Ronald Johnson went to federal court late o Thursday to try and stop the recount. They requested a temporary restraining order in US District Court to immediately halt the recount while the court considers their lawsuit.

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The lawsuit said Wisconsin violated the US Supreme Court’s 2000 Bush v Gore ruling because it does not have uniform standards to determine which votes should be counted in a recount. They also argued that it threatened due process rights. If states miss the deadline, Congress would allot their electoral votes.

No court hearings had been scheduled as of early Friday afternoon. The Wisconsin Department of Justice was reviewing the lawsuit, said Johnny Koremenos, spokesman for Attorney General Brad Schimel.

Michigan’s elections board was deadlocked on Friday over a Trump campaign request to deny Ms Stein’s recount request. Both Republican members voted to prevent the recount while both Democrats voted to allow it, meaning it will begin Tuesday or Wednesday unless the courts intervene.

Michigan’s Republican attorney general asked the state Supreme Court to do just that, echoing Mr Trump campaign’s arguments that Ms Stein should not be allowed to seek the costly recount because she finished so far behind Mr Trump and Ms Clinton that she could not have herself won.

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