• By the Numbers: The Recount Scenarios (It is a Long Shot)

    November 24, 2016

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy

    DC: Green Party Presidential Nominee Jill Stein Makes Announcement On 2016 Race

    Green Party candidate Jill Stein (Disclosure: I voted for Stein) is calling for a recount in key states, and has raised some $3 million for that purpose. Her funding page estimates the total cost, including lawyers, will be $6-7 million.

    There is a lot of media being generated by all this, but I haven’t found anyone who did some math. Here it is.


    The deadlines in the three key states Stein is seeking recounts for are fast approaching. This Friday, November 25, is the deadline for requesting a recount in Wisconsin, where Trump’s winning margin stands at 0.7%. In Pennsylvania, where his margin is 1.2%, the deadline falls on Monday. In Michigan, where the Trump lead is 0.3%, the deadline is Wednesday, November 30.

    Because of the numbers (below) if Stein fails to file in all three states for a recount, there is no way for Clinton to win.

    To date, no other candidate has publicly called for a recount. It has been over two weeks since the election.

    The Numbers

    As for electoral votes, Pennsylvania has 20, Michigan 16, and Wisconsin 10. Trump won 290 Electoral College votes to Clinton’s 232. If all three states’ votes went fully to Clinton, and all electors voted “faithfully,” Trump would lose the electoral vote.

    A recount could yield more votes for candidates other than Clinton; the presumption is that any “hacking” unfairly favored Trump. Scenarios, such as Wisconsin only going to Clinton, would not change the final election outcome. If Michigan and Wisconsin alone went to Clinton, neither candidate would have the required 270 electoral votes to win.

    Current vote counts show Trump leading by about 27,000 votes in Wisconsin, over 68,000 in Pennsylvania, and more than 10,000 in Michigan. In some ways not massive leads, but they’d all have to go Clinton’s way.

    If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the three Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. Thus a tie is technically possible. In reality, the state-by-state party tilt is decidedly Republican.

    There are clearly scenarios through which Clinton could win, but they seem long shots.

    The Outcome?

    So for the recount to change the results of the presidential election, the only reasonable scenario would be for all three contested states to shift their vote totals from advantage Trump to advantage Clinton. That would almost certainly trigger additional calls for re-recounts, as well as possible Supreme Court actions as with Bush v. Gore in 2000, or perhaps simply mass chaos across the U.S. It is unclear how long all this would take.

    Recounts are not free.

    Wisconsin states that if the vote difference is less than 2% (as it is), then the fee is $5 per ward. There appear to be 70 wards in the state, meaning the filing fee is $350, not the $1.1 million Stein is requesting for the state without legal fees. I cannot account for the discrepancy.

    The fees for the Michigan and Pennsylvania recounts are $500,000 and $600,000, respectively. These match with the amount requested.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Mitch said...




      So….. Long shot…. But still a mess?

      We are operating on the premise that Hillary is putting Stein up to this?


      Your wife is going to raise hell if you keep working on Thanksgiving.


      11/24/16 12:07 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Half a peace sign is, half , middle finger. ENJOY

      11/24/16 2:14 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      bEN dOVER/20030

      11/24/16 2:14 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      tHE fUTURE IS oUR>>>S

      11/24/16 2:15 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Pass me a wing, and fries.

      11/24/16 2:16 PM | Comment Link

    • Bill Johnson said...


      It’s simple, really. It gets attention for Stein. And, after filing for the recounts, there will be enough left from the Wisconsin funding to settle Jill’s campaign debt. There won’t be much litigation cost. The recount will match the original results. A suit will be filed, dismissed, and the dismissal upheld on appeal. She’ll file in Wisconsin, but don’t be surprised if she doesn’t file in the other 2. She’ll miss the dates and keep the cash. What all of this will come down to in the end is that, like Sanders, Jill Stein will show that she’s no different than the other self-serving members of the political class.

      11/24/16 3:04 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Biil- It seems so. Those who seek to be part of the ruling class may be doomed by DNA. In the meantime learn to tread in the moat -it isn’t hard to master. The drawbridge will NOT be lowered for us. But again, that may not be such a horrid fate.

      11/24/16 9:33 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Stein has also claimed in one interview (but not in subsequent ones) that the election results were caused by foreign governments’ interference and hacking into our election systems. I.e., blame the Russians. This is so stupid I can’t believe she said it. The voting machines are not hooked up to the internet. No-one can “hack in”. They can have malware installed in them at the factory or at the polling place; are we to believe that the Dread Russians sent over so many agents that they were able to install malware in the machines nationwide? The D’s and the R’s, on the other hand, do have access to all the machines right here in the US. As do the companies that provide the machines. Any tinkering with the machines is done right here by good old Americans.

      I voted for Stein (and voted for her in ’12, as well), but almost didn’t. Want to know why I almost didn’t? This may sound dumb, but here goes: She was the only presidential candidate to speak out on behalf of the protesters at the Dakota pipeline. That was very good. She went to the DAPL protest site at Standing Rock and joined with the protesters. During her brief visit with them, she got herself arrested. She had spray-painted some graffiti on the pipeline company’s bulldozers. This pissed me off to the point where I began to think that she is just another fraud who is using anything and anyone she can to get attention. I know it’s hard for the third-party candidates to get any mention in the media, but this stunt hurt the credibility of the protesters. The tribes and the other protesters have been extremely careful to avoid anything that even hints at violence, illegal acts, or destruction. They want it obvious that they are intent on protecting the land, the water, and their rights, by peaceful means. By defacing equipment (yeah, I get it – it isn’t like she blew up a bunch of equipment with dynamite), she went directly outside the stringent guidelines and limits the protesters decided to impose on themselves as they seek to exhibit their principles and peacefully protest.

      So she actually cast the protesters in a bad light – she is the only person on the protester’s side to date who has done anything destructive or illegal at Standing Rock – and she did it for a self-serving attention-getter motive. She only went there to get attention for herself.

      It just struck me wrong, that she’d put them at risk of being labeled “rioters” or “eco-terrorists” or as destructive in any way, just so she could make the newspapers.

      Maybe that makes me a purist, I don’t know. She’s gotten arrested before, protesting third-party exclusion from the debates; that didn’t bother me. I thought she had a point and was correctly directing her protest actions against the two major parties. But I am sick of the politicians using us as their pawns in their quest to control the country. And she was using the Sioux in this case. I found it shameful.

      I find her involvement in this recount effort a bit mysterious. Maybe it will lead to something good, perhaps we’ll finally get some investigation into these damned voting machines, but so help me – it just sounds kinda like another politician looking for money. That remark about foreign governments messing with our elections is what really makes me wonder about her motives here.

      What a sad place we’re in.

      By the way, the Indians have a day of remembrance on what we call Thanksgiving Day, too. They call it “The Day of Mourning”.

      11/25/16 4:12 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...


      Hey Teri,

      Even mainstream is realizing something smells…
      Putting Stein and Hillary in the same head line.


      And, you sure know how to take the fun out of something… 🙁
      (you sound just like my wife’s dad).

      Guess were going to have to go with plan “B”.
      And take several semi trailers full of things off their supply lists.

      Also…. What pisses me off about the whole mess up there…. No one should be treated that way.

      The People up there, have a lot more patience than I do.


      11/25/16 5:18 AM | Comment Link

    • Andrei said...


      In the meantime, US got its first military casualty (KIA) in Syria.

      11/25/16 5:20 AM | Comment Link

    • Andrei said...


      And as for Stein seeking that recount, for some reason it reminds me of that moment when Sanders endorsed Hillary.

      11/25/16 5:23 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...


      Hey Andrei,

      I saw. But…. Somewhere I remember Obama saying something to the effect that the US would never have boots on the ground in Syria.

      So, your seeing Stein’s apparent sell-out too?


      11/25/16 7:30 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      The Post has another “the Russians did it” article today, linked below. The article sources a Berger and some new group, Propornot, as sources. Is this Berger related to Sandy “Stuff 9/11 documents in your pants”? Propornot doesnt exactly identify themselves either and better – sites in their list of allies – Snopes, like this is a serious group itself.

      Funny how the Post is just waking up to fake news sites, which mushroomed post 9/11, or finds it an issue only when HRC is attacked but meanwhile is quiet when groups are targeted like refugees or Muslims.

      Not sure how does the Post know it is not a domestic group/s doing this? Sure the Russians have psy-ops and all that, but their efforts are pretty bad, just in a different way

      Maybe it is wishful thinking the stuff has a foreign source. Would be convenient


      11/25/16 8:18 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Guess raising the Russian scare AND claiming how Trump is going to abandon labour (old news) is great deflection for not reporting on breaking a strike in Bezos’s Amazon. The real surprise: the NY Times reported this



      11/25/16 8:22 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Kyzi- So what if the pilots are overworked. Gotta get the Amazon sourced “stuff” to customers ASAP so they quickly reaslize they didn’t really need it in the first place and then put it in the Purple Heart bag and feel good about their charitable core. Americans! We just gotta have stuff-lots of stuff and regularly. We’re impulsive consumers of “stuff”.

      11/25/16 9:06 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      John Poole said…
      “We just gotta have stuff-lots of stuff and regularly.”

      And delivered…NOW. IMMEDIATELY. By Drone. As in ONE MINUTE AGO. sheeezus..

      ” We’re impulsive consumers of “stuff”.”

      I swear, if Black Friday isn’t the living goddamned proof of Barnum’s best known axiom I don’t know what is. By January 1’st, half of what is bought today will end up on the local dump pile. You know, all the Dollar Tree crap no one will ever use in a lifetime.

      Btw Mit.. here’s one for ya…


      11/25/16 11:01 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      I saw… We are trying to arrange to be there at the same time. Hide the unloading in their press coverage.
      Besides… Hell of a lot of stuff to unload… Many hands make lite work.
      Not doing this for the press. Doing it for the people.

      And… Here’s one for you.

      Where do you start shaking your head at this one.

      Obama signs this nightmare. Multiple nations sign this thing.
      The thing is a sick joke… But… Now… Blame trump.
      Just stupid.



      11/25/16 11:09 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      On a side note, I wonder what’s happening with the FBI’s investigation of Mr. Sexual Predator Scumbag Anthony D. Weiner? Nary a word since the election.

      11/25/16 11:12 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Do you really want a “G” rated answer to your question?


      Do you really want it in your head of Comey doing a physical comparison exam of weiner????


      11/25/16 11:21 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Is this a statement on Trump’s personal financials….


      The United States????

      Think they might be selling the good china next ?



      11/25/16 12:56 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      The Grinch told me that America was FOUNDED as a plutocracy. We finally have an “out” plutocrat as POTUS. Trump’s rise makes sense. It is safe now to flaunt the truth since the sheeple don’t care.

      11/25/16 1:39 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      11/25/16 2:29 PM | Comment Link

    • Andrei said...



      When Trump won the election I said that my faith in the American democracy was in fact somewhat rekindled; that I started to believe that it’s not just a puppet show with a predetermined result.

      What Stein does now, when she basically sided with Clinton – that was rather sobering for me.

      I’m no Trump fan, but I simply refuse to consider Clinton as the lesser of two evils, so to speak.

      11/25/16 3:19 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Agreed…. Wholeheartedly

      And…. Agreed…. Kind of hard to see the Devil as the lesser of 2 evils.


      11/25/16 4:05 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Mitch said…”

      And…. Agreed…. Kind of hard to see the Devil as the lesser of 2 evils. ”

      Overheard in a Jewish bakery in Berlin..circa 1938.

      11/25/16 5:51 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Andrei said…”I’m no Trump fan, but I simply refuse to consider Clinton as the lesser of two evils, so to speak.”

      So did those Democrats who opposed Wallace in 1944. The world lives with what those scumbags did at the Democratic Convention that year. CIA, NSA, the insidious nuclear abomination, and the rise the US as the posterchild for Legal Imperialism on the planet..all came into existence because.. there waa no accountability for the fucking criminal actions of certain Democrat power brokers who completely undermined the nature of political conventions via lies, underhanded technical operations, and downright war against their same party opponents. Just as Debbie Wasserman et al did this year. To me.. it’s UNFUCKINGBELIEBABLE that this scum sucking parasite of political power hasn’t been indicted for fucking with the primary. However, her and her cohorts are amateurs compared to those in 1944. Behold…

      Now I understand the nature of…political power.
      fuck em.

      11/25/16 6:10 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Ya know, as of today, “BLACK friday” consumes the elements of the society across the United States to address the custom of giving on Christmas day, in reverence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, mostly advocated by Capitalist propaganda since 1890, by fighting to find the best deals at every brick and mortor building on US soil… I submit that Jesus Christ’s promise to the human race has been supplicated by most people’s desire to not feel guilt by virtue of that very propaganda of US corporations. FUCK EM.

      11/25/16 6:41 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      ALL Are revealing their mendacity and self-immolating on the CLINTON pyre! A 2 DECADE Green; I’ve re-registered independent and berned my “green card”!! Fini party(s)!!!

      11/25/16 6:45 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      By the numbers, Trump likely will have a heart attack when learns how many undocumented aliens are in the country. There are over 10 million alien children alone. Total illegal population is over 20 million. Trumps policy is doubling the flow. The wall wont be built anytime soon. By the time Trump gets any movement in Congress on funding the tsunami will be well underway.

      11/25/16 8:10 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Army Corps of Engineers to close Protesters site Dec. 5th. Vets arriving days before. Water is Life

      11/25/16 8:21 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      We saw.

      Were going to be gone before that starts. Thanks for the heads up.
      Keep em coming.


      11/26/16 4:22 AM | Comment Link

    • A Media Blacklist, Courtesy of WaPo: Now I’m Afraid for Our Democracy – Antiwar.com Blog said...


      […] unfair having happened are slung around, usually either unsupported by facts, based on faux “statistical anomalies,” or via a small data set that is blown up into something general to prove “the system […]

      11/26/16 9:35 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      The Clinton$tein MON$TER : IT’$ A BRIBE ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xos2MnVxe-c Now it’s on to teh ExtortY’all college and let’s win there!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvVm9eG6Wbg

      11/26/16 11:50 AM | Comment Link

    • A Media Blacklist, Courtesy of WaPo: Now I’m Afraid for Our Democracy said...


      […] unfair having happened are slung around, usually either unsupported by facts, based on faux “statistical anomalies,” or via a small data set that is blown up into something general to prove “the system is […]

      11/26/16 1:03 PM | Comment Link

    • A Media Blacklist, Courtesy of WaPo: Now I’m Afraid for Our Democracy | Michigan Standard said...


      […] unfair having happened are slung around, usually either unsupported by facts, based on faux “statistical anomalies,” or via a small data set that is blown up into something general to prove “the system […]

      11/27/16 2:00 AM | Comment Link

    • A Brief History of the Election OMG PUTIN IS TAKING CONTROL OF THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!! – Antiwar.com Blog said...


      […] for cries that the recount, which will show Clinton still losing, is itself crooked as it was done by the same local election officials under the same mind control […]

      11/27/16 10:40 AM | Comment Link

    • A Brief History of the Election OMG PUTIN IS TAKING CONTROL OF THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!! said...


      […] for cries that the recount, which will show Clinton still losing, is itself crooked as it was done by the same local election officials under the same mind control […]

      11/27/16 1:16 PM | Comment Link

    • Election 2016 endgame: links & updates | Phil Ebersole's Blog said...


      […] By the Numbers: The Recount Scenarios (It Is a Long Shot) by Peter Van Buren for We Meant Well. […]

      11/27/16 9:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Electoral College Dropout said...


      Let us assume that WI, MI and PA all recount votes.

      Let us further assume that none of the three states can complete these recounts by the December 13 deadline.

      Do these states forfeit their electors if the recounts are not completed on time?

      If these electors are indeed forfeited, does the number needed to win change to 247 or is it still 270?

      538 – 20 (PA) – 16 (MI) – 10 (WI) = 492
      492 / 2 = 246
      +1 = 247

      Find a way to challenge FL (29) and suddenly Clinton’s 232 electoral votes are a majority.

      I am seeing this scenario advanced in certain circles, but I can find no definitive answers.

      11/27/16 11:13 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Good questions, but I have no idea. It would be nice for media that have huge resources to devote to research did some with the time I don’t have. My question is how long will the recounts, lawsuits, challenges to the recounts, etc. take to complete. Does the whole electoral process just freeze while this silly recounting drags on? I’m not 100% sure Michigan is even done counting from the actual election. We. Are. So. F*cked.

      11/28/16 8:47 AM | Comment Link

    • A Brief History of the Election OMG PUTIN IS TAKING CONTROL OF THIS ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!! | Michigan Standard said...


      […] for cries that the recount, which will show Clinton still losing, is itself crooked as it was done by the same local election officials under the same mind control […]

      11/28/16 2:01 AM | Comment Link

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