US & Canada

Trump election: Activists call for recount in battleground states

A volunteer talks about ballot measures with a voter outside a polling location for the 2016 US presidential election after polls opened at Wright's Barber Shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 8 November Image copyright EPA
Image caption Voters in states like Pennsylvania proved decisive

US activists have called for a recount in battleground states where Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, fearing the ballot was skewed by foreign hackers.

Data experts are asking why Ms Clinton performed worse in counties that relied on electronic voting machines compared to paper ballots and optical scanners.

While they have found no evidence of hacking, they argue that an independent audit is required.

Mrs Clinton admitted defeat hours after the election on 8 November.

She lost to Mr Trump by at least 58 votes in the all-important electoral college tally, decided on a state-by-state basis, but won the popular vote by at least 1m ballots.

California has still to complete its official count because, according to the LA Times, of its complex electoral laws although the state has already been called for Mrs Clinton.

During the bitter election campaign, the FBI began an investigation into allegations that Russians had hacked the private email of John Podesta, her campaign chairman.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mrs Clinton has not publicly questioned the election results

The hacked communications, which portrayed the Clinton campaign in an unflattering light, were published by WikiLeaks.

Now a "growing number of academics and activists" are calling for an audit of the results in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the UK's Guardian newspaper reports.

"I'm interested in verifying the vote," Dr Barbara Simons, an adviser to the US election assistance commission and expert on electronic voting, was quoted as saying. "We need to have post-election ballot audits."

According to a CNN report, a group of scientists including J Alex Halderman, director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, has privately told the Clinton campaign it believes there was a "questionable trend".

The group has reportedly informed Mr Podesta that Mrs Clinton received 7% fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic voting machines, suggesting they may have been hacked.