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FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2000 file photo, Willie Smith holds four copies of the Chicago Sun-Times, each with a different headline, in Chicago, reflecting a night of suspense, drama and changes in following the presidential race between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush. What happens if America wakes up on Nov. 9 to a disputed presidential election in which the outcome turns on the results of a razor-thin margin in one or two states, one candidate seeks a recount and the other goes to court? (AP Photo/Charles Bennett, File)

People are Googling questions about #Recount2016 like mad, so we answered them for you


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WATCH  | Clearly, people have a lot of questions about the recount fight. Here's our attempt to answer them for you. 

Googling like mad

On Google, people are searching the term "recount" more frequently than ever -- a phenomenon undoubtedly sparked by Green Party presidential candidate's Jill Stein's recent effort to hold recounts of the 2016 presidential election vote in three critical states: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

According to Google Trends, the term "recount" is currently at its peak popularity since Google started keeping track of search terms in 2004. 

These are the most popular questions about the recount, according to Google Trends.

Will there be a recount?

The first question, of course, surrounds whether there will actually be a recount. And the answer is yes -- but not in every state. 

As of Monday, recounts have only been requested in two states: Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, two battleground states where Clinton lost by slim margins.

Stein has also said her campaign will file for a recount in Michigan, a state that was so close, it was only called for Trump on Monday.

Slim margins

Here's how many votes Trump won each state by, according to the various Secretary of State Offices as of Nov. 26:

  • Michigan: 10,704 votes.
  • Wisconsin: 22,177 votes.
  • Pennsylvania: 70,638 votes.

When will recounts begin?

Wisconsin's recount is expected to begin on Thursday, and Michigan officials have said they're prepared to begin a recount effort on Friday if Stein files her petition by the state's Wednesday deadline.

In Pennsylvania, however, a recount is not guaranteed. On Monday, state officials said Stein missed the deadline to file for a recount. In response, Stein filed a lawsuit on behalf of 100 Pennsylvania voters arguing the election was “illegal,” and that the results were inaccurate.

Why does Jill Stein want a recount?

According to Stein's website, her goal is "to ensure the integrity of our elections." One of the reason's she's questioning the integrity of the election: an article in New York Magazine  published last week, which claimed two election experts "found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked."

Those findings, however, have been refuted by other election experts,  state election officials, and the White House.

Others want a recount, too 

Still, Stein's clearly not the only one who wants a recount. Her effort raised more than $6 million in less than a week, which is more than Stein was able to raise for herself during her entire presidential campaign. 

The Clinton campaign has also joined Stein's recount effort, with an eye toward exploring whether there was any “outside interference” in the results. 

Clinton careful about joining

Clinton's campaign has been careful, however, not to explicitly endorse Stein's premise, saying it has “not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology.”

The amount Stein raised also may be more than she actually needs to pay for each states' recount. In that case, she said, "the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform."

How long does a recount take?

Because in most cases ballots are re-counted by hand, a recount can take weeks to complete. The recount of Florida's votes after the 2000 election, for example, lasted until December.  

As Mic points out, this can get complicated, because the Electoral College is supposed to certify its vote by Dec. 19. If recounts are still going on, legal challenges could arise to delay the Electoral College certification. 

Will a recount change the election?

Probably not -- and that's something even Jill Stein's team has admitted.

“This challenge is not about changing the election result, but about securing a process that ensures that every votes actually counts for the candidate that each voter intended to receive that vote," David Cobb, Stein’s campaign manager said.

The purpose of Jill Stein's recount effort, in her own words. 

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