A federal judge Wednesday suspended a recount of the Nov. 8 presidential election that started three days ago and has yet to reveal fraud or significantly alter the results.
The manual statewide recount cost as much as $3 million but stopped after U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith lifted a temporary restraining order preventing state officials from stopping a recount prompted by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. A state election board could end the recount at a scheduled Thursday meeting.
Stein failed to show she was an aggrieved candidate as defined by state law and entitled to a recount, the judge said. He concluded Stein’s request to test the election system’s vulnerability to fraud lacked evidence.
From the Court’s order, which discusses, among other cases, Bush v. Gore:
The issues that Plaintiffs raise are serious indeed. The vulnerability of our system of voting poses the threat of a potentially devastating attack on the integrity of our election system. But invoking a court’s aid to remedy that problem in the manner Plaintiffs have chosen — seeking a recount as an audit of the election to test whether the vulnerability led to actual compromise of the voting system — has never been endorsed by any court, and would require, at a minimum, evidence of significant fraud or mistake — and not speculative fear of them. Such evidence has not been presented here.
For all these reasons, this Court dissolves the TRO effective immediately.