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Pressure mounting for presidential election recounts in a key 2016 swing state

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Pressure is mounting to re-examine the presidential vote in Wisconsin, where a series of screenshots posted Tuesday showed electronically tallied countywide counts erroneously added in thousands more votes to the totals than the ballots cast.

“It doesn’t garner public confidence to see errors like this in election results, especially in a close battleground state,” wrote Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor and voter turnout expert, who on Tuesday posted an image of the electronically calculated count in Sauk County, Wisconsin, showing 2,700 more votes tallied than ballots cast.

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“My guess is that in Wisconsin, the Trump lead narrows when provisional ballots are counted (not enough by themselves). Fixing errors in certification could go either way,” he continued. “I know the Clinton campaign is monitoring this, so if they think the Wisconsin results merit recount, they will do so… Here’s the real problem, though: Clinton also needs another large battleground state (Florida or Pennsylvania), but that doesn’t seem possible, because the margins are too much… So, even if Clinton had a realistic chance of flipping Wisconsin in a recount, her campaign would probably not do it since one state is not enough alone.”

Election night’s unofficial returns found Trump ahead of Clinton by 27,000 votes in Wisconsin. In Michigan, she is behind by 11,000 votes, and in Pennsylvania by 68,000 votes. These three states were critical in giving Donald Trump his Electoral College majority.

McDonald’s tweet was not the only one surfacing Tuesday showing this over-counting anomaly. As Susan Eraslan wrote after pasting similar screenshots, “The numbers display that in 3 precincts in Outagamie County, all won by DT, more votes were counted for president than cast. Follow-up tweets found 1,500 more votes tallied than ballots cast, but soon after those screen shots were posted they were said to be corrected—or deleted.”

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“To be clear: Certified results in just one Wisconsin county bring Trump’s margin of victory down almost 7 percent. We don’t know what about others,” tweeted Dan Solomon, who followed up with more vote-count tabulation screenshots. “Okay, this is very significant. Outagamie County released the official vote tally at 10:30am CT, the discrepancy below no longer exists.”

The vote count snafus in these two counties are among a dozen counties identified by election integrity activists as reporting improbably high turnout levels—above 85 percent—in the presidential election. “Either these voter turnout percentages are an historic achievement, unparalleled in my experience, or the unofficial results are not true and correct,” wrote Richard Hayes Phillips, a PhD statistician, in an early analysis of 12 Wisconsin counties, including Sauk and Outagamie counties.

Later on Tuesday, McDonald tweeted that 10,000 votes were added to Trump’s totals in Pennsylvania, increasing his lead from 58,000 to 68,000 votes. Here, too, it’s not clear of that was a tabulation error or would be corrected, he said. “Most likely this was a bonafide error corrected in a county canvass. But if one of this magnitude, who is to say there aren’t others?”

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These discoveries and analyses are coming against a backdrop of hectic organizing and conference calls to determine whether it is possible to raise the funds necessary to file for recounts in Wisconsin and possibly also Michigan and Pennsylvania. Some of these advocates met late last week with the Clinton campaign, which has since declined to get involved in recount efforts. The deadline for a recount in Wisconsin is Friday, followed by the other states next week.

Responding to a report of that Thursday meeting between electyion integrity activists and senior Clinton campaign aides in NYMag.com, pollster Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com tweeted, “Good chance there’ll be a whole cottage industry of “STATISTICS PROFESSOR PROVES ELECTION RIGGED” posts at HuffPost, etc., though.”

Silver continued, “Look, maybe these researchers have a lot more than what’s in the article. But there’s a *very* easy explanation for the pattern in article.” To which, longtime voting rights journalist Brad Friedman, of BradBlog.com, replied, on Twitter, “We don’t get results from “patterns” — (You & do. How’d that go, btw?) — but from BALLOTS. We should bother to COUNT them!”

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Stay tuned, this isn’t anywhere near over. Even if there is the slimmest of chances that recounts will change the presidential election results, it appears anyone paying attention is going to see why the election integrity movement has many salient points to make about how America conducts its elections, and why the process must be improved to instill public confidence.


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‘Left wing hack’: Fox News fans lose it after anchor calls Ukraine allegations ‘a problem’ for Trump

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Fox News viewers lashed out at the network on Sunday after host Arthel Neville grilled New York Congressman Peter King (R) about President Donald Trump's alleged effort to get Ukraine to help him defeat Joe Biden.

Neville twice asked King about Trump's Ukraine scandal, and both times he evaded the question by saying that Congress does not have a right to know the details of Trump's conversations with foreign leaders.

On her third attempt, Neville got to the point by noting Trump's alleged actions are "a problem."

"We don’t know that it’s true, we hope it’s not true," the Fox News host said of the allegations against Trump. "But if there is a possibility that our president used his office to put pressure on a foreign government -- president-elect -- to dig into his possible, potential political opponent, then that’s a problem."

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New York Times battered on MSNBC for pushing smear of Hunter Biden in order to maintain access to Trump

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An "AM Joy" panel jumped all over the New York Times for pushing a widely debunked smear of Hunter Biden promoted by Donald Trump, saying the newspaper is more interested in maintaining their access to the Oval Office than debunking the lie.

Speaking with host Joy Reid -- who noted that her producers asked for comment from the Times but were rebuffed -- MSNBC regular Maria Teresa Kumar scorched the Times, as well as reporter Ken Vogel, for the uncritical parroting of the president's smear.

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Ukrainian journalist throws down gauntlet after Giuliani smear: ‘I express my readiness to testify’

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A Ukrainian journalist said on Sunday that he would be willing to testify to Congress against President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

After Giuliani unleashed a bizarre rant on CNN accusing Democrats of trying to get help from Ukraine in the 2016 election, Ukrainian journalist Serhiy Leshchenko wrote an op-ed exposing the accusation as a lie.

In his op-ed, Leshchenko explains:

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Manafort revelations would become fodder for the U.S. elections in 2020. President Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, the mouthpiece of this campaign, is not only attempting to rehabilitate Manafort but is also working to undermine U.S. relations with Ukraine, which has been confronting Russian aggression on its own for more than five years. Giuliani and his associates are trying to drag our newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, into a conflict between two foreign political parties, drastically limiting Ukraine’s room for maneuver in respect to the United States, perhaps its most important international partner.

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