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Green Party US election recount bid comes to a close

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The recount effort by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in three crucial U.S. states came to an end on Monday, after weeks of legal wrangling yielded only one electoral review in Wisconsin.

A U.S. judge in Pennsylvania rejected Stein’s request for a recount and an examination of that state’s voting machines for evidence of hacking in the Nov. 8 election won by Republican Donald Trump.

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Meanwhile, Wisconsin election officials said on Monday they had completed their 10-day recount with only small changes to the vote total.

Stein, who finished fourth in the election, challenged the results in those two states as well as Michigan, where the state’s top court on Friday denied Stein’s last-ditch appeal to keep a recount going. All of those traditionally Democratic strongholds supported Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Even if all three recounts had taken place, they were always unlikely to change the outcome.

Stein argued that the use in many Pennsylvania districts of electronic voting machines with no paper trail left the system vulnerable to hacking.

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In a 31-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond in Philadelphia said it “borders on the irrational” to suspect hacking occurred in Pennsylvania. He also emphasized that the deadline to certify the state’s electoral votes is Tuesday, making it impossible to hold a recount in time.

While there is no evidence of large-scale voting machine hacking, U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia targeted Clinton in a series of cyber attacks on Democratic Party groups. Trump has questioned those reports.

In response to Diamond’s ruling, Stein said in a statement that Pennsylvanians’ right to have their votes counted had been “stripped from right under them.”

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In Wisconsin, Trump’s margin over Clinton increased by 131 votes to 22,748 from 22,617 following the recount, according to the state elections commission.

“Based on the recount, they (voters) can have confidence that Wisconsin’s election results accurately reflect the will of the people, regardless of whether they are counted by hand or by machine,” Wisconsin Elections Commission chair Mark Thomsen said in a statement.

Trump won Pennsylvania by more than 44,000 votes and Michigan by more than 10,000 votes, according to the latest figures.

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Despite winning the national popular vote by more than 2 percent, Clinton would have had to sweep those states to win the presidency under the U.S. Electoral College system, which assigns electoral votes state-by-state rather than by overall national totals.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York; Additional reporting by Timothy McLaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Bill Trott and Andrew Hay)


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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

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Elections 2016

As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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Elections 2016

‘A profound emoluments clause violation’: Andrew Napolitano slams Trump’s hosting the G7 at Doral

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In the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's announcement this Thursday that next year's G7 summit will be hosted at President Trump's Doral golf club, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Trump would be violating the emoluments clause if he were to go through with the move.

At the outset of the segment, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said that the announcement is "effectively saying the president has given himself this contract."

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