Legal maneuvers from a losing candidate designed to undermine the presidential election were shut down Monday.
It was a quick end to contentious challenges from a third-party candidate with no hope of winning.
The Pennsylvania vote count supporting Republican President-elect Donald Trump will stand. Green Party candidate Jill Stein will now have to seek fame and fundraising elsewhere.
A federal judge on Monday rejected Stein’s motion for a recount, saying “there is no credible evidence that any ‘hack’ occurred” and that evidence showed Pennsylvania’s voting system “was not in any way compromised.”
US District Judge Paul S. Diamond blasted what he called a “prejudicial delay” in seeking a recount, saying it could not be done at this late date without “inexcusably disenfranchising some six million Pennsylvania voters.”
It was a fitting end to an attention-grabbing effort by Stein who received less than 1 percent of the state’s 6 million votes. She was supported in recount efforts by Democrat Hillary Clinton whose loss to Trump is one of the hugest upsets in US political history
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier that Diamond said he would rule Monday on the Green Party-backed petition for a statewide Pennsylvania recount. The judge signaled the clock may be running out because the state must certify its election results for the Electoral College vote.
Diamond announced his plans after a Friday afternoon hearing at which supporters of Stein continued their bid for the review, citing potential security vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines statewide.
Diamond, however, seemed most concerned with the limited time Stein’s lawyers had left him to act, by waiting nearly a month after the election to file their lawsuit. The state certification deadline is Tuesday to allow Pennsylvania’s electoral votes to count when the Electoral College convenes Dec. 19.
The judge didn’t cater to Stein’s legal argument.
One could say you sat on your rights for three weeks … anticipating a judicial fire drill. Here we have a cold, hard deadline that will disenfranchise 6 million people, and you and your clients waited, making it almost impossible to comply.
State election officials hold there is no sign of vote manipulation. Republicans and Trump, who won Pennsylvania by about 44,000 votes, claim Stein’s efforts are a publicity stunt and scam meant to interfere with the president-elect’s inauguration and raise money for the Green Party.
Stein’s recount efforts stalled in other states where Trump won.
A federal judge halted Michigan’s recount after three days, while one in Wisconsin ruled Friday that state’s review could continue. Reports from election officials there show little change to overall vote counts.
Read the decision here.