In the weeks following the 2016 presidential election, it is becoming clear who the real winner is. Although Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton conceded to Donald Trump with grace two weeks ago, it has subsequently been announced that Clinton has won the popular vote by a wide margin, with Trump taking the electoral vote and the presidency. As rumors emerged about a possible recount, many began to question: Could Hillary Clinton actually win a recount? If the votes are challenged, it could theoretically go either way, confirming either that Trump is, in fact, the rightful president or that Clinton was the actual victor all along.
To call these past three weeks interesting would be an understatement. Donald Trump has selected a handful of controversial people to serve on his Cabinet (to say the least), and it has become clear that Clinton was the most popular candidate with voters by far. In fact, Clinton has surpassed Trump in the popular vote by over 2 million votes, as it currently stands. To her supporters and pundits alike, that number is alarming — and it is even causing some computer scientists to urge the Clinton campaign to challenge the election results.
According to CNN, computer scientists believe that they have "found evidence" that shows "vote totals could have been manipulated or hacked" in three states. Computer scientists found that Clinton performed worse in counties with electronic voting machines compared to paper ballots. This hefty evidence is making some people call for a recount — but back to the original question: Is it likely that Clinton would actually win such a recount?
That all depends on who you're asking.
Currently, Green Party candidate Jill Stein is asking for donations to fund recounts in three states — Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. While it might not actually help Stein, a recount could potentially help Clinton and her supporters, especially if people do believe that voter fraud could have occurred there. Clinton did not win all three of those states, which were regarded as pretty big swing states, and the Clinton campaign understandably saw them as a major loss. If Clinton had won all three of those states, then she would have had enough electoral votes to win the election.
But it is unclear if the recount would actually change the results of the election and declare Clinton the winner — or whether it would simply expose some problems and still lead to the same result. Voter fraud is incredibly rare and not something that commonly happens in elections. Because of this, it is hard to believe that the results of one state, let alone three, would be affected by alleged hacking and voter fraud. So while it is possible someone could have tampered with the easily hackable voting machines, actually determining in what quantity this alleged tampering occurred is tough to settle.
If a recount were to occur, it's not exactly a guarantee that Clinton would actually win and it might also reaffirm a lot of people's biggest fears about the country's voting systems. But it is important that people to trust the voting process, even if the process (more specifically, the review process) is tough to swallow. "I'm not sure it's possible to undo the results, and all the people are focusing their energy on opposing the worst ideas of this administration at this point, not the legitimacy of the results," Daniel Doubet, an organizer for Keystone Progress, told The New York Times.
Perhaps most importantly, while many believe that Clinton could theoretically win a recount, it still remains unclear whether Clinton herself actually wants that recount to happen. Whatever the case, she can rest easy that plenty of people have her back and want to see her succeed, even if it gets a little bit messy.