White House rebukes online petitioners calling for presidential election recount

The White House responded on Wednesday to official petitions demanding a recount of President Obama's 2012 reelection by urging his political opponents to "work with your fellow citizens to help tackle the challenges that we can all agree our country faces."

"You don't have to support President Obama or his vision for this country," the White House says in the response. "But you have to acknowledge that all Americans, even those with whom you disagree, have the right to help to set our nation's course."

The posting by an unnamed administration official also says that petitioners were wrong to charge electoral fraud. Protestors had argued that in at least one Ohio county, Obama captured 108 percent of the registered voters.

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"In fact there isn't a county in Ohio that came anywhere close to reporting more total votes than it had registered voters," the White House said. "Across the state, the county-by-county percentage of voter turnout based on registration ranged from 53 percent to 79 percent. The statewide average was 71 percent."

"Those aren’t numbers we got out of thin air — again, they’re straight from the official election results released by Ohio’s Secretary of State."

The Obama administration has said that it will issue an official response to petitions that gather 100,000 signatures on its We the People website.

Earlier this year, the White House also responded to petitions calling for secession from the United States following the presidential election. In that post, Jon Carson, director of the Office of Public Engagement, declared "our states remain united."


"In a nation of 300 million people — each with their own set of deeply-held beliefs — democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that's a good thing," Carson wrote. "Free and open debate is what makes this country work, and many people around the world risk their lives every day for the liberties we often take for granted. But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don't let that debate tear us apart."