Why the Clinton Campaign Is Joining the Election Recount

November 26th 2016

Willie Burnley Jr.

It looks like there’s a small chance that the election of Donald Trump might not be the biggest plot twist of 2016. That’s because Marc Elias, a lawyer with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, took to Medium on Saturday to say that the campaign would take part in the Wisconsin recount set in motion by Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.

Stein had quickly fundraised over $5 million in a few days in order to “ensure the integrity of our elections,” according to her website, by funding recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Elias said in his statement that Clinton campaign would follow suit in participating in those subsequent recounts if Stein’s efforts came to fruition.

The voter gap in those three states between Clinton and Trump, according to Elias, is “merely 107,000,” a number that pales in comparison to the more than 2 million votes that Clinton received over the current president-elect. The race in Michigan itself remains so close that NBC News has yet to call a victor.

However, he writes somewhat cautiously of their chances:

“We [take part] fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But 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.”

The decision comes after weeks of speculation as to how much influence misinformation circulating on social media and foreign hacking — of the Democratic National Committee and the emails of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides — played in the election. Both efforts were carried out with the help of the Russian government, according to much of the U.S. intelligence community and The Washington Post. ;

In the weeks following the election, the Clinton campaign investigated claims of vote tampering or hacking, according to Elias. The lack of evidence they found made them hesitant to initiate a recount themselves.

As the recounts unfold, the Trump campaign is likely to participate in the recount effort as well, possibly pitting Republicans and Democrats in the three states - and nationally - against each other.