PA Judge Denies Recount And Blasts Stein's "Suspicions Of Hacking" That "Border On Irrational"

A Pennsylvania judge has denied Jill Stein's request for a recount and simultaneously offered up an epic assault on her "later than last minute request" that "could well ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts" by preventing the state from certifying election results by the federal deadline of December 13th.  Judge Paul S. Diamond also blasted Stein's "suspicion of a 'hacked' Pennsylvania election" saying that it "border[ed] on the irrational."

Dr. Stein has repeatedly stated that she has sought a Pennsylvania recount to ensure that every vote counts.Granting her later than last minute request for relief, however, could well ensure that no Pennsylvania vote counts. Such a result would be both outrageous and completely unnecessary; as I have found, suspicion of a “hacked” Pennsylvania election borders on the irrational. Finally, Plaintiffs’ claims for relief suffer from several flaws, each fatal to their Motion. For all these reasons, I will deny that Motion.

Diamond noted six separate reasons for denying Stein's recount request, including a lack of "credible evidence," a lack of standing, an "unexplained, highly prejudicial delay in seeking a recount," and the fact that pursuing the recount would only end up "inexcusably disenfranchising some six million Pennsylvania voters" as it would prevent the state from certifying it's election results by the December 13th federal deadline.

Unsuccessful Green Party Candidate Jill Stein and Pennsylvania voter Randall Reitz allege that because Pennsylvania’s voting machines might have been “hacked” during last month’s election, I must order the Commonwealth to conduct a recount of the votes cast for President. There are at least six separate grounds requiring me to deny Plaintiffs’ Motion. Most importantly, there is no credible evidence that any “hack” occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ lack of standing, the likely absence of federal jurisdiction, and Plaintiffs’ unexplained, highly prejudicial delay in seeking a recount are all fatal to their claims for immediate relief. Further, Plaintiffs have not met any of the requirements for the issuance of a mandatory emergency injunction. Finally, granting the relief Plaintiffs seek would make it impossible for the Commonwealth to certify its Presidential Electors by December 13 (as required by federal law), thus inexcusably disenfranchising some six million Pennsylvania voters. For all these reasons, I am compelled to refuse Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief.

On standing, Diamond noted that Stein didn't even bother to respond to arguments that she lacked standing to demand a recount.

At the December 9 hearing, Intervenors argued persuasively that Plaintiffs lack standing. (See Hr’g Tr. 99:7-100:19.) Remarkably, Plaintiffs did not respond. Even though Dr. Stein was present and could have testified as to why she is an aggrieved party with standing to seek a recount, she was not called

Diamond also blasted Stein's cybersecurity "experts" which he said had very little understanding of how Pennsylvania's electronic voting systems actually worked.

I agree with Plaintiffs that tampering with the Pennsylvania vote totals would violate the right to vote itself and constitute an irreparable harm.  Plaintiffs have presented no credible evidence, however, that any such tampering occurred or could occur; the Commonwealth presented compelling evidence that it did not.


Plaintiffs seem to suggest that Pennsylvania’s votes are recorded and tabulated statewide by a single computer that is Internet-accessible and susceptible to tampering. As Dr. Shamos made clear, however, this simply is not so. (See Hr’g Tr. 59:10-24, 60:17-61:2.)


Plaintiffs also base their voting security allegations on the possibility that “malware” might have been secretly installed in Pennsylvania voting and vote tabulation machines, thus corrupting Pennsylvania’s voting results. Dr. Shamos made clear, however, that, given Pennsylvania’s highly dispersed system of taking and tabulating votes and the numerous integrity checks provided by law and practice, no such “hack” could be effected.


Dr. Shamos also described the insuperable logistical difficulties involved in installing malware on each of Pennsylvania’s many thousands of DRE machines. Because DREs do not connect to the Internet, hackers cannot upload malware onto them remotely. (See Maazel Decl. Ex. 1, Doc. No. 9-1 (Halderman Aff. ¶ 18).) Physically hacking DREs to influence an election is practically impossible. Each machine is sealed by Commonwealth voting officers. (See Hr’g Tr. 50:9-11.) It would take substantial time to open a DRE, hack it, close it, and apply counterfeit seals. (See Hr’g Tr. 50:11-13.) In Dr. Shamos’s view, it is less than implausible to suggest that anyone secretly could hack Pennsylvania’s DREs without being noticed. (See Hr’g Tr. 50:9-20 (estimating “it would take four months” to hack all of Allegheny County’s DRE machines).)

And here is Diamond's commentary on Stein's inexplicable delay in filing her recount request.

As I have described, despite the December 13 certification deadline, Plaintiffs waited until November 28 to proceed in Commonwealth Court and until December 5 to proceed here. That delay has caused what Judge Pappert recently described as a “judicial fire drill” and what I recently described as a “mad scramble”—unnecessary and unfair to all concerned.


The only relevant fact unknown to Plaintiffs before the election was its outcome. Yet, Dr. Stein then waited nearly three weeks, until November 28, to file the Commonwealth Court contest petition and the County Board recount petitions. (See Maazel Decl. Ex. 37, Doc. No. 9-40.) During the December 9 hearing, Plaintiffs’ Counsel was unable to offer a credible justification for this delay. Once again, even though Dr. Stein was present and could have explained under oath her reasons for delay, she did not do so.

Well, we suspect that didn't quite go as planned for Team Stein.


Below is the full Pennsylvania Order Courtesy of LawNewz: