Jill Stein, her supporters and a group of experts struggled mightily to get proper recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. They were accused of paranoia and of simply wasting time.
Why is it so difficult, and so controversial, to get the results of a U.S. presidential election inspected and verified? Audits should be mandatory in all states; in fact, they're part of the foundation of a healthy democracy.
Recounts not only are important for finding proof that voting machines were misconfigured or hacked. In a meaningful recount, evidence representing the voter's intent is compared against the published vote totals. Even if a recount proves that everything went as intended, it's a way to reassure the public — especially the losing side — that the announced winner of the election is legitimate.
A recount is comparable to checking the receipt before leaving the local grocery store. Some check, some don't, but overall, we all agree that the ability to check a receipt is worth the paper it is printed on.