United States presidential election, 2016

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Was there fraud in the US presidential elections in 2016? Specifically, was there fraud in three states that went to Trump: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania?

The question was raised by the journal New York on 22nd Nov 2016. Gabriel Sherman: Experts Urge Clinton Campaign to Challenge Election Results in 3 Swing States. [1] Yle


All voting places in Wisconsin are using paper ballots and optical reading system. Therefore, it was a journalist's misunderstaanding that electronic voting systems would have given 7 % less votes for Clinton that other systems in Michigan. The point of this discussion was that Clinton should require that some paper ballots are counted by hand just to be sure, and this should be a routine in all elections. But, surprisingly enough, it is not.

Infecting counting machines with malware is not at all impossible. If a skillful attacker wants to take a risk, it can be done. Whether there was fraud or not, the current evidence does not tell. It could be possible to look at individual precincts to search for statistical anomalies. Reports about such activity were found when writing this page.


Read J Alex Halderman's blog about the issue from an expert who started this discussion. [2]

  • In Michigan, there is doubt about hacking claim [3].
  • Why risk-limiting audits should be performed [4]

There are different voting systems in different states[5]. However, the classification seems fuzzy and does not clarify what kind of systems actually are in use.

Pre-election discussion about potential problems with the paperless Pennsylvania system.[6]

How are votes counted [7]?

General issues about the election[8].

Filing a recount

According to one of the activists, the deadline in Wisconsin to file for a recount is Friday (25th Nov); in Pennsylvania, it’s Monday (28th Nov); and Michigan is next Wednesday (30th Nov). Jill Stein did file for a recount. Data was not found about whether only a candidate or any citizen can file for a recount. In any case, they must pay for it so there must be a good reason for that.


Milwaukee data and Wisconsin equipment

See also [9] [10].

Wisconsin is the critical state, as there are different equipment used in different municipalities. This data is available here. The presidential election data seems to be available only by county. The Milwaukee county data is only available as a pdf file[11] but it could be scraped from there when opened in Adobe reader (not web browser) and stored as txt file. Similarly, County of Dane data can be scraped from [12].

Overall state results by county

Data from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Data is also avalable here but not used from this source.

Michigan Wisconsin Pennsylvania
Candidate Votes Percent Votes Percent Votes Percent
Donald Trump (GOP) 2279805 47.60% 1409467 47.90% 2912941 48.80%
Hillary Clinton (Dem) 2268193 47.30% 1382210 46.90% 2844705 47.60%
Gary Johnson (Lib) 173057 3.60% 106442 3.60% 142653 2.40%
Jill Stein (Grn) 50700 1.10% 30980 1.10% 48912 0.80%
Other 19162 0.40% 15521 0.50% 20896 0.40%
100% of precincts reporting (4,830 of 4,830) 100% of precincts reporting (3,620 of 3,620) 99.8% of precincts reporting (9,136 of 9,158)

100% of precincts reporting (4,830 of 4,830)

Counties and results in Wisconsin, with links to some precinct-level results.[13]

See also