PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Donald Trump won Pennsylvania by just 71,000 votes out of 5.8 million votes cast.
But his 1 percent victory over Hillary Clinton was enough to avoid the state’s automatic recount triggered when a vote margin is less than one-half percent.
I’m looking to get an accurate count on the vote,” Weslee Hursh, of Centerville Borough, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Hursh filed a petition at the Washington County Elections Bureau to recount the ballots in her precinct, even though she’s not alleging any fraud by the Trump campaign.
“That’s not the purpose of this,” says Hursh. “The purpose of this is to make sure that the election was true.”
Via social media, Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein urged Pennsylvania voters to file recount petitions.
“Pennsylvania is the only state in which the recount process has to be initiated by actually thousands of voters,” Stein says in her video.
Filing a petition to challenge an election result, to get a recount, in the whole state of Pennsylvania is almost next to impossible.
As citizens in western Pennsylvania are quickly discovering, it’s a very, very complicated process.
“You realize that this has to have three electors, and I only see two,” Washington County Assistant Elections Director Wesley Parry told Hursh on Monday.
Hursh’s petition was rejected because it was signed by two voters, not three.
In fact, to recount Washington County alone would take 528 signatures.
“Three in each precinct,” said Parry. “So, it can’t just be 528 random people. They have to be registered electors in each separate precinct, three per.”
And the deadline has passed in many counties.
Election officials in both parties insist the results are accurate.
“No system in this state is attached to the internet in any way, so this whole notion of being hacked is farcical at best,” says Parry.
The Stein campaign went to court today to, “protect the right to substantively contest the election” beyond the recounts at the precinct level.
Now, it’s not too late in some counties.
Allegheny County postponed final certification of its results to give voters more time to file petitions.
Then, there’s the money requirement for some, but not all, filings.
Westmoreland County officials said that two petitioners walked out when they were told it would cost them $150 to file.
Gov. Tom Wolf tells the “KDKA Morning News” during his bi-weekly visit that does doesn’t think there can be a total state recount in Pennsylvania.
“Once counties…certify the results, I believe a recount is not possible. Some have completed them, some have not and the state is helping counties who have received recount petitions,” says Wolf.
According to Wolf, the counties that have received recount petitions are Berks, Bucks, Centre, Montgomery and Philadelphia, but he doesn’t know how many petitions have been filed in each county.
“We don’t have any reason to believe there was fraud [in Pennsylvania]…we just don’t see any evidence of that,” says Wolf.