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Group seeks to overturn voting results in three states on the basis of unfounded Russian hacking claims
Election officer Mike Young, right, sets up a voting machine as other precinct workers watch before the site was opened to voters on Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Group seeks to overturn voting results in three states on the basis of unfounded Russian hacking claims

A group of computer scientists and lawyers is trying to convince the Hillary Clinton campaign to challenge the election results in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and possibly Michigan, based on an analysis that purports to claim that voting machines in these states may have been hacked by Russians or other parties. The group has provided absolutely no evidence to back up the claim that the voting machines were actually hacked.

Instead, they have produced a "statistical analysis" which purports to show that voters in Wisconsin counties with electronic voting machines Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes than in counties with paper ballots or optical scanners. That's it. According to New York Magazine, the computer scientists and lawyers are attempting to encourage Clinton challenge the election results in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (which remains unresolved) until a full, independent analysis of the security of voting machines can be undertaken.

It is important to re-emphasize that no one — including this group — has come forth with any forensic or actual evidence of any sort that any voting machines were tampered with or hacked by the Trump campaign, Russian hackers, or anyone else. Notwithstanding that, NYMag reports:

Last Thursday, the activists held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case, according to a source briefed on the call. The academics presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000. While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee.

The chances that the Clinton campaign will act on this information and file any sort of legal challenge to the results in any of these states has to be considered extremely remote. The Obama administration has publicly encouraged Democrats to accept the legitimacy of Donald Trump's election and to make sure that he enjoys a smooth transition effort, at the very least. It seems unlikely that Obama or his administration would welcome or join such a challenge that might well leave an ugly mark on the last month of his administration, and without the Obama administration's backing, it is difficult to see Clinton attempting such a move.

Clinton herself appears to have likewise accepted her loss and shows no willingness to fight the Trump victory in court or to litigate controversial challenges in the public eye. If she does challenge the election results, her chances of success — based on this evidence — appear even more remote still.

Still, the effort does illustrate the resistance some have to accepting Donald Trump's Electoral College victory. In spite of the high number of holdouts against the legitimacy of Trump, recent polls show a majority of Americans are optimistic about his candidacy and seem willing to give the President-elect a chance, particularly on economic issues.

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