Federal judge blocks Pennsylvania recount request

Federal judge blocks Pennsylvania recount request
The Green Party request to recount paper ballots from the presidential election in Pennsylvania and inspect electronic systems for signs of hacking has been denied by a federal judge.

US District Judge Paul Diamond dismissed Jill Stein’s lawsuit on Monday morning. It was part of a larger effort to challenge the voting results in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Republican candidate Donald Trump won a narrow victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in all three to carry the Electoral College vote.

In his 31-page decision, Judge Diamond said there were at least six grounds that required him to reject the lawsuit among them that suspicion of a hacked Pennsylvania election “borders on the irrational.”

Diamond also wrote that granting the recount would “ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts” given Tuesday’s federal deadline to certify the vote for the Electoral College.

The recount effort had been opposed by Trump, the Pennsylvania Republican Party and Pennsylvania’s attorney general.

In Pennsylvania, Trump beat Clinton by about 44,000 votes out of 6 million cast.

Judge Diamond also said the lawsuit suffered from lack of standing, and potentially the lack of federal jurisdiction.

Lawyers for the Green Party hit numerous roadblocks in county and state courts over the group’s recount effort. They argued in their lawsuit that computer hackers changed the election outcome and that the state’s use of paperless machines made it a prime target. They also argued that the state erected unconstitutional barriers to voters seeking a recount.

A federal judge halted Michigan’s recount last week after three days.

Wisconsin’s presidential election recount, which began December 1, is expected to conclude on Monday. With about 95 percent of the votes recounted as of Sunday, Clinton had gained 25 votes on Trump, but still trailed by about 22,000.

Trump’s supporters also tried to halt the Wisconsin recount.