Is it possible for a voter of integrity to be both for and against a recount?
It was just one week ago that we used this space to urge sitting Gov. Pat McCrory to concede his loss and ease off into the sunset.
But the news cycle moves pretty fast these days, and a lot has happened since then. As of press time, most of McCrory’s complaints have been dismissed by county election boards across the state. Appeals have been filed in Durham.
Unless McCrory knows something the rest of us don’t — election-night totals put him down in Durham by more than 90,000 votes, and Roy Cooper’s camp says the incumbent trails by about 9,700 statewide — this comes across as a bratty power play. It makes us wonder at the real possibility of McCrory seizing power through a legislative coup, and if living through that could possibly be any weirder than what’s going on in the presidential election.
Up there at the top, we met initial calls for a recount with skepticism and, if we’re being honest, aggravation. For Clinton to call for a recount, even at the urging of a team of reputable computer scientists and lawyers, would have been viewed as the last, desperate act of a madwoman.
Then, like it was in a script, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, unburdened by qualms about how she’s viewed, called for one. Which is another thing entirely.
Amid myriad concerns about the integrity of the election —claims about Russian hackery, recent examples of elections that have indeed been compromised, like the 2016 primary in Forsyth County, and very real concerns about US cybersecurity among them — comes the light of reason.
Our elections need to be accurate. And if that means counting the votes a couple times, so be it.
Under that thesis, Stein gets her recount and, we suppose, McCrory does too.
It’s not exactly the same thing — for one, Stein has raised the funds for the Wisconsin recount through her campaign, while McCrory’s will come on the taxpayer dime. And going through 90,000 votes in Durham is considerably less of an enterprise than re-tallying the entire state of Wisconsin, not to mention Michigan and Pennsylvania, which are also on the table.
As for Trump’s accusations of voter fraud in California, New Hampshire and Virginia… as of press time, that still sounds pretty crazy.
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