The Recount Dilemma

In one of the least surprising turn of events since Donald Trump won the presidential election, leftists are demanding recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. The irony of such requests is probably not lost on our readers, but let’s highlight it anyway. The people calling for recounts are the same people who object to voter ID laws, due in part to the supposed incredibly low rate of voter fraud.

Why do we need a recount at all? The Stein camp is saying that there is evidence of computer tampering, but the evidence for that claim looks weak at best, and on par with conspiracy theories at worst. Those who still insist on a recount need a reason, such as counting error. This is silly though; in Pennsylvania, Trump won by 68,209, in Michigan, Trump won by 10,704, and in Wisconsin, Trump won by 22,871. Although the results were close in these states, it’s a huge stretch to think human error could have caused a vote count that is off by the tens of thousands in one state! So, there is only one option left for those who would insist on a recount. Fraud! But, as as I said above, these are the people who are opposed to voter ID laws on the grounds that voter fraud is low and, therefore, such laws are unnecessary. They are forced into a dilemma. Either voter fraud is a problem, and there is some merit to the arguments for requiring IDs to vote, or voter fraud is not a problem, and the recounts totally lack legitimate motivation. Which is it?

Walter Montgomery

Walter is a philosophy graduate student in New Hampshire. He sometimes wishes he was a lawyer, and other times wishes he was a basketball coach. Some of his favorite childhood memories involve traveling with his immediate family, grandparents, and cousins’ family in big gas-guzzling vans towing campers. He sees philosophy as a tool for getting at Truth, and thinks too many contemporary philosophers see it as a tool for advancing their ideological preferences.

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  1. “Our country has been around for 240 years, and we’re a country based on laws, and we have hot, contested elections going back to the very beginning. But one of our hallmarks has always been that we accept the outcomes of our election. We do the best we can to have free and fair elections, which we do, and somebody wins and somebody loses.” – Hillary Clinton, 10/19/16

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