A federal judge has struck down Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s bid for a recount of paper ballots in Pennsylvania, saying suspicion of a “hacked” election “borders on the irrational.”
“Dr. Stein has repeatedly stated that she has sought a Pennsylvania recount to ensure that every vote counts,” U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond wrote in an opinion filed Monday morning.
“Granting her later than last minute request for relief, however, could well ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts,” he added.
Diamond’s stern rebuff is the latest setback for Stein and lawyers arguing on behalf of the Green Party, who have been seeking recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, three states where Republican Donald Trump eked out close wins over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Stein, meanwhile, captured only a fraction of the votes in each state, including just 0.82 percent in Pennsylvania.
She and the party turned to a federal suit earlier this month after abandoning a Commonwealth Court recount effort when the judge imposed a $1 million bond in the case.
The federal case, filed with the Philadelphia-based Eastern District of Pennsylvania, argued that the state’s mix of electronic and optical-scan voting machines might be vulnerable to hacking and cyber attacks, so they should be be permitted to conduct a forensic analysis of the machines.
Diamond argued that there were at least six grounds requiring him to reject the suit.
“Most importantly, there is no credible evidence that any ‘hack’ occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised,” the judge wrote.
In addition, he noted that the state must certify its election results on Tuesday as part of the process leading up to the Electoral College’s meeting on Dec. 19. Failure to do so would bump selection of electors to the state legislature, he said.
“This would abrogate the right of millions of Pennsylvanians to select their President and Vice President,” Diamond added, castigating Stein for an “unexplained, highly prejudicial delay in seeking a recount.”
Trump, the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the state attorney general’s office all opposed Stein’s suit.