At a time when US President-elect Donald Trump is busy in making selections for his cabinet, supporters of Democratic leader Hillary Clinton have demanded a recount of the presidential election results.
According to reports, besides her supporters, a group of election lawyers and data experts have urged Clinton to seek a recount of the vote totals in three battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — to ensure that a cyberattack was not committed to manipulate the totals.
President-elect Donald Trump won Wisconsin and Pennsylvania by razor-thin margins and had a small lead in Michigan. All three states had been reliably Democratic in recent presidential elections.
The group, led by voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, contacted the Clinton campaign this week.
That call, which was first reported by New York Magazine, raised the possibility that Clinton may have received fewer votes than expected in some counties that rely on electronic voting machines.
But Halderman, in an article posted on Medium on Wednesday, stressed that the group has no evidence of a cyberattack or voting irregularities. He urged that a recount be ordered just to eliminate the possibility.
"The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania," Halderman wrote.
Recounts, which are often costly and time-intensive efforts, would likely only be initiated if the Clinton camp pushed for one, though Wisconsin independently announced that it would conduct an audit of its vote.
Many pre-election polls showed Clinton with slight leads. While advocating for the recounts, Halderman writes that "the most likely explanation" for Trump's surprise win "is that the polls were systematically wrong."
The deadlines for petitioning for a recount in all three states are in the coming days, with Wisconsin's on Friday.
With AP Inputs