Second Line Consulting Founder, Shawna Vercher, appeared on the Nicole Sandler Show to discuss the recount efforts spearheaded by Jill Stein. At the bottom we’ll have more information on where you can catch Nicole’s podcasts.
Below is the audio and a transcription for your convenience.
Nicole Sandler: The recount is about to begin. I wanted to bring us an update, get an update on exactly what is happening with the recounts. I hope on the line with us is Shawna Vercher. She’s a media strategist who is helping out with media strategy on the recounts. Shawna are you there?
Shawna Vercher: I am. Good afternoon.
Nicole Sandler: Hey, thank you so much for being with us today. What is your involvement in the recount?
Shawna Vercher: I’ve been working on national strategy behind the scenes and also trying to mobilize different efforts to really have this be as effective as possible, not just in the short term but try to really leverage it to do a full audit ongoing across the country.
Nicole Sandler: Let me ask you, what is the difference between an audit and a recount?
Shawna Vercher: That’s a really good question. When you think about it, think about your bank account or your household finances, if you were going to do a recount of what was stored in all of your different accounts and hiding places, then you would physically be recounting the money and saying, “Yes, we thought it was this amount of money, it’s this amount of money,” and we’re done.
A full audit would look at different places as to, “Okay, we thought that we were only paying $70 for our cable but it turns out we’re paying $75 for our cable.” It really goes a little bit deeper and does a thought check as to the where and the why, and more than that. You don’t necessarily have to count all of the money to know that it’s done properly because you’ve seen what’s happening and you know if the process is good. It’s really what businesses do to make sure that things are being done properly on an ongoing basis. That’s what we’re advocating for.
Nicole Sandler: All right, but what Jill Stein has raised money for and what’s going to happen are recounts, starting with Wisconsin. That one’s done and allegedly she’s going to file for a recount in Michigan, which just yesterday, I believe it was just yesterday, certified the election for Donald Trump by a very small margin. Then there’s Pennsylvania as well. Has she passed the deadline, missed the deadline for Pennsylvania?
Shawna Vercher: My understanding is that she didn’t. She started the filing process on Monday when it needed to be done, but I am not an elections attorney, this is all coming to me second hand. Now they’re looking at Florida as well. The difference between what Jill Stein is doing and what many people believe need to be done moving forward is that she’s doing really the only recourse she has available as a candidate. In Wisconsin, every state has their own laws, it’s not done the same state to state, in Wisconsin in particular the only way that someone can request that this gets looked at closer is to be a candidate in that race.
People banded together and said, “Hey listen, you’re a candidate, could you have them look at this?” Because we don’t have standing as citizens. Now in Pennsylvania it’s different anyone who, and it does vary slightly and I’m kind of simplifying it here but, anyone who cast a vote in a given county has the right as a voting citizen to say, “Hey, I want you to look at this closer.” Because the election laws are so strange the person with the most standing in the most states had to be a candidate and that’s why a pretty unlikely person is at the helm here.
Nicole Sandler: Right, because Jill Stein won’t get anything out of this, and then you’ve got Donald Trump, and Shawna Vercher, who goes on Twitter the other night, I can’t believe they gave him his Twitter back, I guess he’s the president-elect, it’s hard to say no. He actually went on Twitter in the middle of a Twitter tirade over the recount, I think it was 14 tweets in a row because something is getting under his skin, he wrote, I’m looking for it, something like, “I did win the popular vote if you pull out the millions of illegal aliens who voted,” or something to that effect.
Shawna Vercher: Yeah, that theory from what we understand, and I’m being generous by calling it a theory, was perpetuated by one person on Twitter and then PolitiFact approached that person and said, “Show us what you’re looking at that we’re missing,” and he’s like, “It’s too soon to show the public,” so really it’s based on nothing right now.
Nicole Sandler: Right, it’s based on a Tweet. In fact PolitiFact traced it back to the original Tweet. It’s a guy named Gregg Philips, @JumpVote, who wrote, “Completed analysis of database of 180 million voter registration, number of non-citizen votes exceeds three million, consulting legal team.” Then this PolitiFact article goes on to say, “Philips would not provide any additional information when asked by PolitiFact. He said he has chosen not to release more information because he is still working on analyzing the data and verifying its accuracy.” In other words his information Shawna was all …
[Audio Clip: Bullshit.]
Nicole Sandler: Yeah. That would be bullshit.
Shawna Vercher: Right. There’s a danger to that and that’s why whatever you think happened, if you think that Martians came down and took over human bodies to vote for one candidate or another, what worries me is that it’s shaking the faith of the electoral process overall. What that does for people that really feel like they’re left out in the cold in general already, is it makes them more likely to stay home. I think we’ve seen over time that there is no advantage to people not taking control of their democracy and managing it and allowing people and special interests and career politicians and everything we’ve heard, allowing them to continue to run this [inaudible 00:05:49] is not going to be good for any of us.
Nicole Sandler: No. What happens now? Officially in Wisconsin, the recount in Wisconsin begins tomorrow.
Shawna Vercher: It depends on what the court say as far as if they are forcing certain municipalities to do a hand recount or not. It doesn’t look likely but you never know because again you never know what judge are you going to get, what statute they’re looking at, and it’s all different by state. They’re going to be looking at, I believe there’s 70 counties in Wisconsin, each of those counties gets to decide how they’re going to do it. This is extremely costly for them by the way, so when people are like, “Why won’t they just do it from the beginning and hand count it and get it over with?”
It costs a lot of money to do that, and this is coming out of their budget. While she did file over a million dollars to supplement those costs it’s not nearly enough, they now think that’s not even going to cover a third of it. It’s nothing sinister, they’re just doing the best they can. Now assuming they don’t find anything that is remarkably off kilter, then likely the results will go on to be certified. However there has already been one situation where there was a voting machine that showed that there were more votes cast for president and vice president than there were total voters that showed up. We don’t know if that was a hiccup, if that was something wrong with the software. There’s still nothing to say that there’s some conspiracy theory but people make mistakes, machines fail and that’s what we’re looking to see.
Nicole Sandler: But Shawna if … Look, when something like this shows up more people allegedly cast votes than there are registered voters or some anomaly like that, shouldn’t that trigger an automatic recount?
Shawna Vercher: That’s what a lot of people are saying is … Listen, we’ve seen it once right here and this is flagrant, this isn’t something that, “Oh well if you squint your eyes and you say these people had a really bad day and it rained.” No, there’s no explanation for this. Yes, I agree with you that in theory it should but it’s been politicized, that’s the bottom line. It’s not about, is this going to change the outcome. People may wish for that or may not wish for that but that shouldn’t be what the conversation is centered around and sadly that is such what it’s become. I believe that that’s a misstep on Donald Trump’s part, that if he were more experienced and seasoned as a community leader that maybe he would say, “You know what? I don’t think there’s any problem here and I don’t like how it’s being handled but I’m going to make sure I’m at the table so that it’s handled where everybody’s interests are heard.” We’re just still seeing it so polarizing.
Nicole Sandler: Right, but you know the creepy thing is during the election when he was convinced he was going to lose all he talked about was how it’s all rigged, it’s all fixed, you can’t trust it, nothing works right. Then he gets in and says, “I won, everything’s good.” Then when he realizes he’s lost the popular vote by a huge margin, he goes with these Tweets. I did find that one I was looking for, it said, “In addition to winning the electoral college in a landslide,” it wasn’t a landslide, “I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Then he followed that up four minutes later with, “It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the electoral college in that I would only campaign in three or four states.” Is he 12?
Shawna Vercher: I think what’s troubling to me is that I’ve never seen someone fight so hard against the win.
Nicole Sandler: Yeah.
Shawna Vercher: If I was going to say that what I’ve seen so far based on his behavior, is I think what has become a little bit jolting to him is that once the election is over he still doesn’t have everyone falling at his feet. There’s protests in the street, which also got under his skin. The Hamilton outcry and to be fair it wasn’t the cast it was the audience, but the audience outcry at Hamilton, that got under his skin. I think he expected certain people to fall in line. This is yet another situation where that’s not happening and what frightens me is someone that responds so emotionally at a time when now more than ever we need a steady hand.
Nicole Sandler: We do and yet the sideshow aspect of it is still somehow attrac- I guess it’s because it’s there and this is what we have to talk about. I wonder, do you wonder … Shawna Vercher is with us and she’s a media consultant and strategist and is working on the media I guess response to the recounts. The whole thing with Mitt Romney and Kellyanne Conway coming out and railing against him, I think that Donald Trump wants a … Something, the complete opposite of what we got with the no-drama Obama. This is like all drama Trump reality not reality show. It’s really insane. Do you think he’s seriously considering Mitt Romney or is he setting him up for a major shaming?
Shawna Vercher: I don’t think it’s that clean. I don’t that he definitely want one thing or definitely want another. I think that if we’re being honest this is a guy that’s in over his head. To be fair anyone of us would be in over our heads if we suddenly became this position as the new leader of the free world. What I think is really damaging though possibly to anything that he hopes to do, let’s assume the purest of intentions, let’s assume he’s going to do the best that he can, you have people that he surrounded himself with that are seasoned veterans of the game that don’t have his best interest at heart and a lot of people would argue they don’t have certain American’s interest at heart either.
What worries me is how easily he seems to be baited and emotionally manipulated. I would hope that at some point that would calm down but we haven’t seen it yet and we keep waiting for him to rise to the occasion. No matter what we think of him personally we should all be optimistic that he does rise to the occasion but unfortunately we’re not seeing signs in that direction.
Nicole Sandler: No. No and it’s only getting weirder and stranger and scarier with each day as we get into this [inaudible 00:12:10] period.
Shawna Vercher: We’re through the looking glass now, yeah.
Nicole Sandler: Yeah, we really are. I call it opposite world, it’s up is down, in is out, nothing makes sense.
Shawna Vercher: Curiouser and curiouser.
Nicole Sandler: What a long strange trip it’s going to be. Shawna Vercher on Twitter @ShawnaVercher, her website shawnavercher.com. I’ll have all the contact info on my blog at nicolesandler.com. Shawna thank you so much.
Shawna Vercher: Thank you so much for having me Nicole.
Nicole Sandler: I really appreciate it. Bye bye.
To find out more about Nicole’s Show where she questions authority Tuesday – Friday between 3 – 4pm EST – http://nicolesandler.com/