As it turns out, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein was wrong: The Russians weren’t mucking about with voting machines in Wisconsin, or anywhere else for that matter.
According to The Associated Press, the final recount in the Badger State did nothing to close Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton’s 22,000 vote gap with Republican rival Donald Trump. In fact, Trump added votes in Wisconsin due to Stein’s recount — 162 by the AP’s count or 131 according to a separate account from Fox News.
Either way, it looks the Kremlin either a) chose to stay out of this one or b) wasn’t terribly effective.
“Completing this recount was a challenge, but the real winners are the voters,” Elections Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen said in a statement to the Wisconsin State Journal. “Based on the recount, they 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.”
The results were certified by the state after the final four counties to complete the recount — Dane, Milwaukee, Outagamie and Rock — finished counting their ballots and certified their results at the county level.
After all that meticulous counting and poring over the results, only 1,800 votes changed. Of those, more changed in the president-elect’s favor than they did for Clinton.
That wasn’t the only setback that Stein’s anticlimactic recount suffered on Monday. In Pennsylvania, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond rejected Stein’s call for a recount, calling her hacking allegations “borderline irrational.”
“Most importantly, there is no credible evidence that any `hack’ occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised,” Diamond wrote in a 31-page decision, also deriding the “unexplained, highly prejudicial” wait between the election and when Stein filed the lawsuit.
“The Pennsylvania election system is not fair to voters and voters don’t know if their votes counted, and that’s a very large problem,” Green Party lawyer Ilann Maazel said in response.
The third recount of Steins’ genesis, Michigan, was also halted by a federal judge.
While Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin were close victories for Trump, they weren’t close enough that anything short of Ferdinand Marcos-style ballot stuffing would have borne fruit for Hillary Clinton and the left. What Stein did was, in essentially, a very expensive distraction.
Thankfully for Stein, it wasn’t really her money. Baristas and trustafarians from sea to shining sea squandered their hard-earned cash (well, their parents’ hard earned cash, at any rate) in the most ridiculous crowdsourcing campaign since that woman who lost all of her money on Powerball tickets set up a GoFundMe page.
However, Stein and her cohort should take heart: When it comes to blaming the Russians for Hillary’s loss, the work goes on, the baseless accusations endure, the smears still live and the Kremlin-baiting shall never die.
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