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Berks

Berks certifies election results; 'We're done'

READING, Pa. - Results of the November 8 election are being recounted in Wisconsin, a movement led by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Stein has questioned the integrity of votes cast in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, but she hasn't presented any proof of wrongdoing. She's already raised more than $5 million for the recount.

Election officials in Berks County moved forward Thursday and certified the votes that were cast in the election.

"The election results are the election results," said Berks County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt.

Not everyone, however, is ready to accept them.

"With the recount being done now, and the phone calls we're getting, you normally don't have that after an election," said Debbie Olivieri, the director of Berks County Election Services.

Berks officials said they've received calls asking about the possibility of a recount.

"Basically, the answer is we're done," Olivieri said.

In the race for president, Republican Donald Trump won Berks County with 96,626 votes. Hillary Clinton finished second with 78,437 votes, followed by Libertarian Gary Johnson (5,247) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein (1,974)

"We certified the election results, so that then goes to the Department of State that says the results were verified, confirmed, double-checked, triple-checked here in Berks County," Barnhardt said.

Officials said they believe the deadline to contest the results in Pennsylvania has passed.

"Hopefully, the courts are going to go by the election code and we're done with the election," Olivieri said.

As for the claims that cyber attacks could have influenced results on voting machines? Officials said there's no evidence of that in Berks.

"You can't really hack in. It's not connected to internet. There's so many safeguards," Barnhardt said.

Barnhardt said it's the last thing workers wanted after months of preparing for Election Day.

"Once the election's over, it's, 'Oh, thank goodness it's over. Let's verify. Let's confirm. Let's get everything accurate, and oh by the way, someone's challenging if it's an accurate election.' It just causes too much anxiety," Barnhardt said.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday regarding a possible statewide recount.


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