Russian hackers were suspected to have been behind a few intrusions into electoral computer systems.
Questions are now cropping up on how foolproof the US election really was. Lawyers and data experts put enough queries to get Green Party candidate Jill Stein interested in seeking recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where the margins favouring winner Donald Trump were wafer-thin: 0.3%, 0.7% and 1.2%. The Russian angle to the Trump campaign added an intriguing dimension as the Kremlin seemed very interested in the outcome, and Russian hackers were suspected to have been behind a few intrusions into electoral computer systems. Wisconsin may have really tipped the scales of suspicion as disproportionate wins were said to have been racked up by Mr Trump in counties which used EVMs, rather than those with only paper ballots.
Some moves are on to get Hillary Clinton interested in joining pleas for a recount, but the Democrats were so vociferous against Mr Trump when he spoke of the possibility of the polls being rigged against him that they are naturally chary of challenging the verdict. History will also note that a vital recount proved futile for challenger Al Gore in 2000 when George W. Bush prevailed in Florida, with that year’s election hinging on that one state with “butterfly” ballots, said to be the villain behind the inaccuracies. The greater fear in 2016 is of possible cyber-rigging, though so far no one who is questioning the verdict has stated he/she has proof of any cyberattacks. There’s no such thing as a perfect election, but with EVMs going online through a central system as in the US, cyber interference can never be completely ruled out.