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"It's important to make clear the Commonwealth Court case is not filing for a recount," said Department of State spokesperson Wanda Murren. "They are contesting the entire election. In order to do that, they have to prove there was something illegal about the election. It's possible the judge may order a recount. Otherwise, there is no mechanism for a statewide recount, unless the final margin is less than 0.5 percent."
Barring any last-ditch legal challenges, a recount of presidential election results is expected to take place in Philadelphia Friday.
Frederick Voight, attorney for the Philadelphia City Commissioner’s Office, told NBC10 that a recount of voting results from machines in 75 of Philadelphia’s nearly 1,700 wards would take place around 1 p.m. Friday at the voting machine warehouse along Wissahickon Avenue.
Barring any further legal maneuvers, the city commissioners office plans to begin recounting paper provisional, mail-in and absentee ballots Monday morning at the Elections Committee headquarters at the commissioners’ office along Spring Garden Street in Penn’s Landing, said Voight.
Election officials in Berks County moved forward Thursday and certified the votes that were cast in the election.
"The election results are the election results," said Berks County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt.
Berks officials said they've received calls asking about the possibility of a recount.
"Basically, the answer is we're done," Olivieri said.
In the race for president, Republican Donald Trump won Berks County with 96,626 votes. Hillary Clinton finished second with 78,437 votes, followed by Libertarian Gary Johnson (5,247) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein (1,974)
"We certified the election results, so that then goes to the Department of State that says the results were verified, confirmed, double-checked, triple-checked here in Berks County," Barnhardt said.
Officials said they believe the deadline to contest the results in Pennsylvania has passed.
"Hopefully, the courts are going to go by the election code and we're done with the election," Olivieri said.
A Bucks County judge next week will hear arguments on whether to allow a recount of votes cast in a handful of precincts on Election Day.
Judge Jeffrey Finley scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. Tuesday in courtroom 420 of the Bucks County Justice Center in Doylestown Borough.
More than 20 petitions containing signatures from Bucks County voters were submitted to the county's prothonotary's office on Monday, claiming voting machines in their precincts may have been tampered with.
The Green Party is dropping its court case seeking a recount of Pennsylvania's ballots in the Nov. 8 presidential election. It had wanted to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated.
The Green Party's filing came Saturday, saying it couldn't afford the $1 million bond the court had set. A Commonwealth Court hearing had been scheduled in the case for Monday, and the $1 million bond was due later that day.
Philadelphia will recount ballots cast in 75 voting precincts on Friday, marking the first major success of Green Party candidate Jill Stein's push to audit the state's presidential election results.
On Thursday, county election officials approved 75 of 82 voter petitions. In those precincts, voting machines will be recanvassed--essentially running them again to review the vote totals. An undetermined number of paper absentee, emergency and provisional ballots from those precincts will also be recounted.
"It's not a great number (of ballots)," Deputy Commissioner Fred Voigt said. "Keep in mind that something like 700,000 votes were cast in Philadelphia County. You're talking (1,686) polling places. This is a speck."
Less than 5 percent of the county's total precincts will be subject to the recount.
A Green Party-backed campaign changed its strategy to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump, and said late Saturday night that it will seek help in the federal courts, rather than the state courts.
The announcement that it would seek an emergency federal court order on Monday for a recount came hours after it dropped a case in the state courts.
"Make no mistake — the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania," recount campaign lawyer Jonathan Abady said in a statement issued around 11:30 p.m. "We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans."
A recanvassing Monday of electronic voting machines used in 52 of Allegheny County's 1,322 precincts did not reveal any discrepancies in the unofficial results reported after the election, but questions remain among some activists about the machines' integrity.
The county's election board delayed certifying the unofficial results a week ago over concerns raised by voters from the precincts.
The 45-minute review process conducted Monday compared results reported on election night in the presidential and U.S. Senate races against those stored in the machines' memory flash cards. The review, observed by officials from the Green, Democratic and Republican parties, showed no votes were miscounted or erroneously tallied.
The five extra votes for Clinton, he said, came from paper provisional or absentee ballots that were undetected by the optical scanner that counted votes in the days following the election. Schmidt said this can happen when people don’t mark their choices clearly on paper ballots or, ridiculous as it sounds, use a green highlighter instead of a pen or pencil.
Somerset County will ask a judge to reject the petitions of three Friedens residents who want the county Board of Elections to recount and recanvass the presidential vote in one Somerset Township precinct.
The county will move to quash the petitions in part because the affidavit on which they are partially based did not claim that any errors were actually committed during the election.
“(The petitions) contend that the affidavit ... only raises concerns regarding the integrity of the voting machines. The affidavit itself does not allege any specific error but only the possibility of a cyber attack that could compromise the election results,” the county’s motion states.
In addition, the motion states, the petitioners’ actions were untimely. The county Board of Elections finished counting votes on Nov. 18 and – after no recount petitions were filed with the board – certified the results five days later. The petitions in question were filed in the Somerset County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 28.
The affidavit in question was written by J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer science professor, and alleges that President-elect Donald Trump’s narrow electoral victory in Pennsylvania may have been due to hacking by a foreign power seeking to influence the election.
Halderman’s affidavit presents a hypothetical scenario in which attackers working for a foreign government might “probe election offices ... to find ways to break into the computers,” then “spread malware into voting machines” in key swing states, “manipulating the machines to shift a few percent of the vote to favor their desired candidate.”
The county also argues in its motion that Halderman misunderstands how elections are conducted in Somerset County.
A key part of Halderman’s argument is that, although Pennsylvania’s voting machines are not connected to the internet, they can still be hacked because the computer from which the ballot design comes can be infected.
“Shortly before each election, poll workers copy the ballot design from a regular desktop computer in a government office and use removable media ... to load the ballot design onto each machine. That initial computer is almost certainly not well enough secured to guard against attacks by foreign governments,” Halderman’s affidavit claims.
Not so, says the county.
The affidavit “fails to accurately describe the process utilized by the Election Board in conducting the election, specifically misinterpreting the method of establishing the ballot design and the security of the voting machines,” the county’s motion states.
a University of Michigan computer science professor, and alleges that President-elect Donald Trump’s narrow electoral victory in Pennsylvania may have been due to hacking by a foreign power seeking to influence the election
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A federal judge has ordered a hearing on the Green Party request for a presidential election recount in Pennsylvania.
U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond scheduled the hearing for Friday.
There will be no recanvassing of voting machines in Bucks County precincts following a judge's denial of petitions Tuesday morning.
Judge Jeffrey Finley tossed out 27 petitions filed by 80 voters during a one-hour hearing at the Bucks County Justice Center, saying the plaintiffs did not present enough evidence that any tampering had occurred with the specific voting machines. The ruling was ordered based on the facts presented in the petitions accompanying affidavits and precluded any further testimony from the petitioners or expert witnesses.