Progressives and Democrats are still wondering how it was that a victory for Hillary Clinton slipped out of their grasp. A new explanation has emerged: Hillary Clinton didn’t really lose. Their hopes have been bolstered, for instance, by the news that the popular vote for Clinton has now surpassed the votes for Donald Trump by more than 2 million, even though it will not make a difference in the final outcome that Clinton herself conceded on November 9. According to the Cook Poitical Report, Clinton received 64,227,373 votes to Trump's 62,212,752 million.
 
The members of the “audit the vote” movement argue that election tampering, Russian hacking, or incompetence may have led to Trump’s triumph. The movement is demanding that election officials and the Department of Justice should re-examine voting machines and vote totals in order to ensure that the results in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are indeed accurate. In Michigan, Trump has a lead, while in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin he was declared a winner. If the results for all three of the above states were for Clinton, she would also obtain a lead in Electoral College votes. 
 
Among those demanding an investigation is the failed leftist presidential candidate, Jill Stein of the Green Party, movie director Joss Whedon, and actress Debra Messing.  In November 22 post on Twitter, Whedon wrote to his 107,000 followers, “Demand an audit. Make the call.” The tweet included an overlay consisting of a photo of Clinton with the message: “SHE WON.”
 
Clinton remains behind Trump by 68,000 votes in Pennsylvania and by approximately 27,000 votes in Wisconsin.  
Latching on to claims by members of the Obama administration that Russia may have electronically manipulated election results, members of the movement want an investigation. For example, Professor J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security has spoken with Clinton’s campaign director John Podesta to urge the campaign to contest the results. New York Magazine reported that Halderman and researchers are arguing that Clinton performed 7 percent better in counties of Wisconsin with easily auditable optical scan or paper ballots than she did in counties with electronic machines. They believe she may have been robbed of 30,000 votes through vote tampering. Trump’s lead was 27,000, thus making the alleged discrepancy crucial for Clinton. However, Halderman and confreres have not released their research. 
 
The director of elections in Michigan was skeptical about the computer experts' concerns. The director of Michigan's Bureau of Elections, Christ Thomas, pointed out that because Michigan is not equipped with the electronic voting machines identified in the report, there could be no hack as feared by the authors. He told the Detroit Free Press, "We are an entire paper and optical scan state," adding that the state's voting machines are not connected to the Internet. 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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