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Hillary Clinton’s campaign is joining the recount, but not because she thinks it will change anything

Hillary Clinton pauses as she addresses her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder – RTX2SVC7
By Sari Zeidler
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign says it will participate in the election recount efforts spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

In a post on Medium, Mark Erik Elias, the Clinton campaign’s general council, said “now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.” 

But the tone of his post didn’t exactly suggest Clinton’s campaign thinks anything will change, even as official poll numbers continue to bolster Clinton’s popular vote lead against President-elect Donald Trump. Stein has crowdsourced almost $6 million to initiate recounts in three key swing states where Donald Trump’s margin of victory was incredibly small: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.  A reversal in these states could, in theory, reverse the results of the election.

So why is the Clinton campaign getting involved now? According to Elias, the campaign has taken a series of steps since the day after the election to uncover any evidence of foul play. So far, they have not discovered anything suggesting tampering or hacking. “Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves” he said of Stein’s decision to initiate a recount. 

But, he notes, “regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.”

Stein exercised her power to call for a recount on Friday (Nov. 25) and plans to call for the additional recounts in the near future.

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