President-Elect Trump caused consternation over the Thanksgiving Holiday, as he sent a series of tweets over both the Wisconsin recount, and alleging voter fraud in the election more broadly.
Mr. Trump criticized Jill Stein for calling for the recount, and later, Hillary Clinton’s campaign for joining it.
Secretary Clinton’s camp have stated that they are joining the recount in order to monitor the process, but that they do not expect it to change anything.
Mr. Trump, however, made several claims about voter fraud both within particular states and nationwide.
The President-Elect stated that “serious voter fraud” had occurred in New Hampshire, California and Virginia, and asked why the media wasn’t reporting on the matter.
Heat Street has reached out to a spokesman for the President-Elect to ask what information he has received on voter fraud in these states in order that we may investigate it.
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
The President-Elect also wrote of wider concerns, stating that the election as a whole had been tainted with millions of illegal voters, who had denied him a legitimate victory in the popular vote as well as his victory in the Electoral College.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
As President-Elect, Mr. Trump is able to receive national security and intelligence briefings, and therefore is, clearly, in a strong position to know of any election tampering that may have occurred. His statements are the only ones from any candidate in the election asserting fraud took place.
While certain media outlets have reported that Mr. Trump “has no evidence” for these assertions, and called them “false”, there is no reason to assume that this is so. As Donald Trump is the President-Elect, there ought to be an assumption that he is not simply inventing claims on voter fraud but is possessed of information about both illegal voting and specific voter fraud.
We are, therefore, asking the President-Elect to furnish us with this information. We will update this post if and when we receive a response.
The question also arises as to who informed Mr. Trump that there had been voter fraud in three separate states, and millions of fraudulent votes cast. The reliability of an American Presidential election is a national security issue, so we have asked for comment as to which person or body informed the President-Elect of the serious fraud to which he refers. We have also asked Mr. Trump’s organization if the President-Elect has contacted state authorities in New Hampshire, Virginia and California to inform them of the serious voter fraud he states took place in these states.
The recount in Wisconsin is an attempt to detect hacking of the election, errors or other voter frauds. The data scientist Alex Halderman has pointed out that, contrary to some speculation, tampering with results is impossible to detect in advance, and can only be detected by checking a paper trail against the reported results:
The only way to determine whether a cyber-attack affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election is to examine the available physical evidence – that is, to count the paper ballots and paper audit trail records, and review the voting equipment, to ensure that the votes cast by actual voters match the results determined by the computers.
For ballots cast through optical scanners, a manual recount of the paper ballots, without relying on the electronic equipment, must occur.