Danielle Elkins: Stop wasting our time and money

Danielle Elkins

I remember there being a section on my report card in elementary school labeled “Uses time wisely” for which the teacher would either give a grade of satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

If Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein were graded on how well she utilizes her time, the way my classmates and I were in elementary school, I feel quite sure that her recent efforts to recount presidential votes would earn her a big U for unsatisfactory.

Upon the victory of President-elect Donald Trump, Stein has decided that a recount of votes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania is imperative. Her website claims that these are “three states where the data suggests significant discrepancies in vote totals.”

In a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Stein admitted that there is no evidence of voter fraud.

Regardless, she and her supporters, apparently with nothing better to do, are marching into battle against America’s voting process.

Stein’s website says that it will take about $9.5 million to be permitted to recount votes in all three states, $7.2 million of which has already been raised in donations. She may be raking in the donations, but some are skeptical of her reasons.

Not everyone is convinced that this effort is really that of Jill Stein.

“I have long suspected that Jill Stein’s not actually responsible for this recount, that she is a stand-in, that she is the public face of this. I actually think this is all Hillary Clinton. I think this recount that everybody thinks is Jill Stein’s and the Green Party’s is all Hillary Clinton,” talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said on Dec. 1.

Limbaugh isn’t the only one who believes that Clinton is up to something.

A Nov. 30 Fox 6 Now article by Theo Keith reported that the Republican Party of Wisconsin filed a federal complaint alleging that the campaigns of Stein and Clinton illegally coordinated to force a recount of the presidential race in Wisconsin.

It’s a legitimate concern, especially since there’s virtually no chance of a recount improving Stein’s fourth place finish.

Others, like Michael Memoli in a Nov. 28 Los Angeles Times article, have said that Clinton’s participation in the push for a recount has been “exaggerated” and that she is simply “observing” the process.

Memoli also said that, for Stein, this is just as much about getting her name in the news as it is about ensuring election integrity. He then noted that Stein’s campaign hadn’t guaranteed that the money raised in connection with a recount would be spent exclusively on recount efforts.

So far, it appears that the person benefitting most from the recount is the one person supporters of the effort seek to bring down — Donald Trump.

A Wednesday article by Andrew O’Reilly for Fox News reported that Trump’s victory margin over Clinton has actually widened in Wisconsin by 146 votes. This is based on 23 of the state’s 72 counties that finished their recounts on Tuesday. In those 23 counties, Trump’s tally rose by 105 votes and Clinton’s fell by 41 votes.

Stein herself doesn’t even seem to have much hope that the recount will change the election outcome.

“These recounts are part of an election integrity movement to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is,” states her website.

Whether Stein is really the stand-in of yet another Clinton scandal, just trying to get her name in the news and delegitimize the Trump campaign or she’s under the illusion that her efforts will make difference, she should stop wasting our time and money.

She isn’t the only one to criticize the election outcome and claim fraud based on assumptions rather than facts, but her recount effort certainly does seem fishy.

Then again, who knows? Maybe she just needs a lesson in using her time wisely.

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