Clinton campaign joins Wisconsin vote recount

The Clinton campaign has carried out an extensive review of election results but had previously conceded defeat in the presidential elections.

A lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign says it will participate in a recount of US presidential election votes in the state of Wisconsin.

Officials there are preparing to conduct the process, which was initiated by Green Party presidential nominee, Jill Stein.

Dr Stein has also pledged to file for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The result would need to be overturned in all three States to alter the outcome of the election.

Wisconsin was narrowly won by Donald Trump and it appears unlikely that this will change after the recount.

Extensive review
The Clinton campaign’s general counsel, Marc Elias said the Clinton team and outside experts had been “conducting an extensive review of election results, searching for any signs that the voting process had been tampered with.”

He stated that there was no evidence to conclude the election was sabotaged but “we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.”

Mr Elias noted that the number of votes separating Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton in the closest of the three States , Michigan ,  ”well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount.”

However, he said the campaign would join in “on principle” in the Midwestern states if Dr Stein follows through on her promise.

The Green Party nominee reportedly wants to be sure computer hackers did not skew the poll in favour of Mr Trump.

Concerns over possible Russian interference had been expressed in the run-up to the vote.

The US government has said Russian state actors were behind hacks on the Democratic National Committee.

The Green Party Presidential nominee, Dr Jill Stein said the US election system is "insecure".
The Green Party Presidential nominee, Dr Jill Stein said the US election system is “insecure”.

Fundraising target
In a statement on Friday, the Wisconsin Election Commission said it had received two recount petitions from the Jill Stein campaign and from Rocky Roque De La Fuente, a businessman who ran unsuccessfully to be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

“The Commission is preparing to move forward with a state-wide recount of votes for President of the United States, as requested by these candidates,” Wisconsin election commission administrator, Michael Haas said.

He said the count would begin in the week after Dr Stein’s campaign has paid the fee, which the commission was still calculating.

Dr Stein’s campaign needs to raise millions of dollars to cover the fees for the vote recount in all three States.

Her website says nearly $5.3m (£4.2m) has already been raised toward a $7m target. It says this is enough to fund the recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Voting rights lawyers, who urged candidates to request recounts, John Bonifaz and J Alex Halderman, have said the results need to be closely analysed.

However, the fact that the results in the three states were different from what polls predicted was “probably not” down to hacking, Mr Halderman said.

“The only way to know whether a cyber-attack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence,” he wrote.

The deadline for the petition for the recount in Wisconsin was Friday, while Pennsylvania’s deadline is Monday, and Michigan’s is Wednesday.

Wisconsin provides only 10 votes in the crucial Electoral College that gave Mr Trump victory in the November 8 election.

Wins there for Mrs Clinton, as well as in Michigan (16 electoral votes) and Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), would have clinched the presidency for the Democrat.

Mr Trump’s camp has made no public comments on the recounts issue.

The Republican won 290 electoral votes in the November election, while Mrs Clinton had 232 votes.

Michigan is yet to declare its final results.

BBC/Sammie