Marc Elias Is a Hypocrite When It Comes to Election Recounts

Clinton lawyer called for Republican to 'accept defeat' in North Carolina, drop recount request

Marc Elias / AP
November 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton's lawyer Marc Elias announced over the weekend that the Clinton campaign would participate in the Wisconsin election recount even as he actively fights against recount efforts in a North Carolina governor's race where the margin of victory was less than 5,000 votes.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has raised millions to fund recount efforts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan based on claims that voting systems in the states were hacked. Elias said the campaign had failed to find any "evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology" but would be joining the recount efforts nonetheless.

In North Carolina, where Republican Gov. Pat McCrory filed for a recount after he lost to Democrat Roy Cooper by just 4,772 votes, Elias is singing a different tune.

"Instead of attacking North Carolina voters and undermining our democratic process, Governor McCrory needs to accept his defeat and concede," said Elias, who also represents the Cooper campaign.

Cooper's margin of victory in North Carolina is far smaller than Trump's margins of victory in Wisconsin (27,257 votes), Michigan (11,612 votes), and Pennsylvania (68,236 votes).

Not only is the margin of victory smaller in North Carolina, but there is also evidence of numerous problems on Election Day, including actual voter fraud.

A formal protest was filed shortly after the election when it was revealed that malfunctioning equipment led to unreliable vote counts in Durham County. The McCrory campaign said that 90,000 votes that came from election sites in the county were tabulated from corrupted memory cards. The votes did not show up until late on election night–long after the rest of the votes from the county were already counted–and shifted the race to Cooper.

A state judge said during a hearing on the night of the election that "Durham historically hasn't figured out how to carry out an election properly." The county is also under investigation for the handling of votes during primary elections.

Within a week of the election, another formal protest was filed by a local candidate who accused a Democrat-funded political action committee of running "an absentee ballot mill." A forensic handwriting expert said that hundreds of ballots submitted by the committee appeared to have been completed by a small group of people. Both the ballots and the expert's analysis were included in the protest.

Further complaints alleging votes by dead people, convicted felons, or people who had already voted were filed in more than half of the state's 100 counties.

McCrory cited the protests in his letter to the State Board of Elections requesting a recount.

"With serious concerns of potential voter fraud emerging across the state, it is becoming more apparent that a thorough recount is one way the people of North Carolina can have confidence in the results, process, and system," McCrory wrote.

Last week, the Civitas Institute filed a federal lawsuit over concerns that the State Board of Elections failed to give itself enough time to verify addresses for individuals who registered to vote on Election Day.

"The people who register the normal way get treated one way, and the people who register same-day registration need to be treated the exact same way," the group's president said.

The White House says that there is no evidence of any attempts to hack into election equipment in any of the states where the presidential election results are being challenged.

"The federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on Election Day," a senior Obama administration official said. "We believe our elections were free and fair from a cyber security perspective."

"We stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people," the official said.

President-elect Donald Trump has called Stein's recount attempt "ridiculous."