Presidential election recount efforts have come to an end in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with both states certifying Republican Donald Trump as the winner in contests that helped put him over the top in the Electoral College stakes.
Trump’s victory in Wisconsin was reaffirmed following a statewide vote recount that showed him defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton by more than 22,000 votes.
Meanwhile, a federal judge issued a stinging rejection of a Green Party-backed request to recount paper ballots in Pennsylvania’s presidential election and scan some counties’ election systems for signs of hacking.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein successfully requested and paid for the Wisconsin recount while her attempts for similar statewide recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan were blocked by the courts.
Stein got only about 1 per cent of the vote in each of the three states that Trump narrowly won over Clinton. Stein argued, without evidence, that voting machines in all three states were susceptible to hacking. All three states were crucial to Trump’s victory, having last voted for a Republican for president in the 1980s.
The numbers barely budged in Wisconsin after nearly 3 million votes were recounted. Trump, a billionaire New York real estate mogul, picked up 162 votes and still won by more than 22,000 votes. The final results changed just 0.06 per cent.
In Pennsylvania, state officials certified the results of the election in the hours following the decision by US District Judge Paul S Diamond.
Trump beat Clinton in the state by about 44,000 votes out of 6 million cast, or less than 1 per cent, according to the final tally after weeks of counting provisional and overseas ballots.
Green Party voters had petitioned some counties to do partial recounts, affecting few votes, county officials said.
Diamond said there were at least six grounds that required him to reject the Green Party’s lawsuit, which had been opposed by Trump, the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office.
Suspicion of a hacked Pennsylvania election “borders on the irrational” while granting the Green Party’s recount bid could “ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts” given today’s federal deadline to certify the vote for the Electoral College, wrote Diamond, an appointee of Republican former President George W Bush.