The voting recount underway in Wisconsin, and perhaps later in Pennsylvania and Michigan, is based on the claim that the machines used to tally votes in those states are vulnerable to hackers.

"Experts who have studied our voting system for years have concluded many of our voting machines are hackable," claims the website for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who initiated the recount.

"Whether these machines were hacked by foreign or domestic agents will be determined by using the mechanisms available to us in each state we conduct a recount. Statistical anomalies could arise through other means, as well."

But experts actually point out it's insanely difficult to hack these machines, and it would take a small army to pull it off.

Wisconsin has 1,800 separate jurisdictions, said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. The form of technology used in those jurisdictions widely varies, but one thing remains the same: None of them are connected to the Internet.

So in order to hack the machines, nefarious characters would need access to each individual voting machine, which are generally kept under strict surveillance. Those machines would then have to be physically tampered with, such as by removing pieces of circuitry or switching out data cards, without anyone noticing.

"It'd be very difficult to do and you would have to do that with each individual machine, so you would need hundreds, if not thousands, of people working together to affect a statewide race in a place like Wisconsin," Becker said.

And even if that group of super sneaks managed to gain physical access to enough machines to influence the vote, they would still need to account for the paper ballots.

Becker said states such as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are legally required to audit the vote by checking paper ballots and paper records from electronic machines against the results turned out by the machines. These audits are generally done in 2-3 percent of precincts and in multiple races.

If the results from the paper ballots or the paper record don't match the results the machines show, then the audit expands to see if the problem exists in other areas, he said. At that point, the results from the machines would be thrown out and the records from paper ballots and the paper record from electronic machines would be used, he said.

"It is very, very difficult to hack an American election," he said.

But that doesn't mean voting infrastructure can't be politicized in an attempt to undermine confidence in the results of the election. And Stein isn't alone in raising the issue. In the days leading up to the election, President-elect Trump cast doubt on electronic voting machines and used individual reports of voting machines malfunctioning as evidence the vote was rigged.

Becker said that rhetoric that's meant to politicize the voting infrastructure is dangerous. "When we politicize the machinery of our democracy, we run the risk of undermining our democracy and the wishes of those it governs," he said.

Lawmakers not worried

That kind of reassurance from an expert leads the top two members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to shy away from getting involved in an investigation brought on by Stein's allegations or Trump's assertions that millions of illegal votes were cast.

Kristina Baum, spokeswoman for committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said a hearing in September calmed fears that the election could be hacked.

"Testimony downplayed the risks of systematic tampering," she said, adding that technology used in the voting process is old, which is a good thing.

"The antiquated technology of electronic voting machines actually makes for a very low risk of systematic tampering."

No less than President Obama and the White House have sought to assure Americans that the vote was free and fair and that the country's infrastructure is safe from foreign influence.

In a statement last month, the administration said the email hack of John Podesta, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, was troublesome. But the votes themselves were free from foreign influence.

Even congressional Democrats aren't convinced electoral infrastructure cost them votes or needs to be a top priority for relevant committees.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, R-Texas, agreed the hearing soothed some of her fears about possible vote tampering. She said she would be happy to hear more about ways to improve the country's voting technology infrastructure.

But given the analysis from Becker and other experts, there are issues concerning voter access that are more pressing at the moment.

"Of course I'm concerned with the integrity of our electoral process, but I'm as concerned about the non-technological barriers to voting that have been perpetuated in recent years such as the closing of polling places and restrictive voter ID laws," she said in a statement.

"The security of the election system is vitally important, and voter access is fundamental to our democracy."