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Academics and lawyers urge Clinton to call for election vote recount

A growing number of prominent academics and election lawyers are urging Hillary Clinton to challenge the results of the Nov. 8 presidential election, saying US authorities should recount the votes in key battleground states.

The group warns that its analysis of electronic voting machines in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania suggests that results may have been manipulated or hacked in some counties.

In a conference call with Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta last week, the experts said they had evidence of irregularities in those key states.

In Wisconsin for example, the analysts say Trump claimed disproportionate wins in counties that used electronic voting compared with those that used only paper ballots.

The coalition is preparing to present a report to congressional committees and federal authorities to relay its concerns.

“I’m interested in verifying the vote,” said Dr. Barbara Simons, a computer scientist and adviser to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). “We need to have post-election ballot audits.”

A second group of analysts, led by John Bonifaz, the founder of the National Voting Rights Institute and Professor Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan’s center for computer security and society, is also taking part in the push for a recount.

Voters cast their ballot in the national election at Cannon Pavilion on November 8, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by AFP)

The efforts have been fueled to some extent by the allegations before the election that Russia was looking for ways to manipulate the results in favor of Republican Donald Trump.

His heavily-favored rival, Clinton, went into Election Day with a lead in the polls, but her hopes of becoming first female president were rapidly shattered as results started coming in from battleground states.

The Democrat lost the election despite a clear plurality of perhaps two million votes more than Trump in the popular vote.

Having led Trump in opinion polls in the run-up to the election in all three Midwestern states, Clinton narrowly lost Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to his Republican rival, and may end up losing Michigan, where a final result has not yet been declared.

There have been large demonstrations across the US protesting the billionaire businessman’s upset victory. Millions of people have also signed petitions calling on federal authorities to eliminate the Electoral College system.

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