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Obama administration throws cold water on vote recount effort

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

(Barack Obama and Hillary ClintonAP)

Officials in the Obama administration threw cold water on the effort to recount votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania on Friday.

The effort was spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who echoed arguments that Russia may have hacked US voting machines to interfere with the outcome of the November 8 election.

A statement from the Obama administration cited by The New York Times acknowledged that the Kremlin likely expected the hacking of some Democratic Party entities in the run-up to Election Day to raise questions about the voting process and the legitimacy of President-elect Donald Trump's victory.

"Nevertheless, we stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people," the statement read.

Speculation that electronic voting machines could be hacked has largely been debunked, primarily because the machines are not connected to the internet.

Stein contended that this was a "hack-riddled election" that warrants a second look at the votes. Trump won by thin margins in the three states Stein aims to contest.

The Green Party sought to raise $7 million to fund the recount. Fundraising surpassed the $5 million mark on Friday. For her part, Stein only received one percent of the vote nationally.

Jill Stein
Jill Stein

(Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein answers questions during a press conference at the National Press Club August 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.Getty/Win McNamee)

Election officials in Wisconsin accepted a recount petition on Friday and announced that the effort was underway.

The Times notes that officials close to Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign wanted nothing to do with the recount effort. During a raucous election campaign in which Trump routinely trumpeted unsubstantiated claims of a "rigged" election, Clinton frequently chided that rhetoric and called on Trump to accept the eventual outcome.

Clinton conceded the election hours after it became clear that Trump would secure enough electoral votes to win the White House.

In the weeks that followed, some supporters of the recount effort have pointed to Clinton's growing lead in the popular vote as reason to question the electoral outcome.

As of Friday, Clinton had secured two million more votes than the president-elect.

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