With Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead now at over 2 million and counting, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has announced her intentions to file for a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, the three traditionally Democratic states that saw a shocking swing to Republican nominee Trump on Election Day.
If successful, the additional 46 electoral votes from these battleground states would put Clinton at 278 votes in the Electoral College (270 are needed).
Time is running out though, as the deadlines to file recount requests in those states loom with Wisconsin’s deadline being Friday. Pennsylvania has a deadline of Monday where the recount request must be filed in Michigan by Wednesday.
This is a grin-and-bear-it move for Stein, being neither a Clinton nor a Trump supporter. In the statement, she said:
“After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts were causing many [Americans] to wonder if our election results are reliable. These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified.”
Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were key to Trump’s win, but reports say it would just take a shift of 55,000 votes from Trump to Hillary to reverse the presidential election results. Broken down, Trump’s marginal leads are: 0.7% in Wisconsin, 1.2% in Pennsylvania and just 0.3% in Michigan.
But on what grounds would a recount be justified?
According to a statement released Wednesday, Stein’s campaign claims that some of the Wisconsin voting machines had been banned in California due to vulnerability to hacking and joins a group of election lawyers and computer scientists who, New York Magazine reported Tuesday, are urging the Clinton Camp to push for a recount in the same three states, citing irregularities they found implying voting machines may have been tampered with.
In a Wednesday post on Medium, J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan professor in that group, explains:
I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls [showing Clinton winning those three states] were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other. The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts.
In Stein’s campaign manager David Cobb’s words:
“Greens have long been at the forefront of campaigns for election integrity. This effort is about holding the institutions of democracy accountable for ensuring all votes that are cast are counted.”
Stein’s move is expected to be met with cheers from Clinton supporters who have been protesting and petitioning for Republican Electoral College members to refuse to vote for Trump, even if their state did. There have been six so called “faithless electors” who have agreed so far. Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has surpassed 2 million across the country to date and is expected to increase as there are still 2 million votes still to be counted in California alone. It is this discrepancy, the largest for a losing candidate in since Andrew Jackson lost in 1824, that is prompting the call to abolish the Electoral College all together.
As one of the presidential candidates, Stein is one of the few people allowed to file the requests and doing so isn’t cheap. It will cost about $2.5 million to file all three requests, so she has set up a donation page on her website: https://jillstein.nationbuilder.com/recount.
As of 3:13 pm PST, the site has already raised $502,931.76!
Although, Stein is still no Clinton supporter, she may still need Clinton’s support if she wants to get the truth known and, hopefully, see a reversal in the results.
The Clinton Camp has not commented publicly on their deliberations over the filing, so if you would like to voice your support, Huffington Post has created yet another petition HERE.
Here is Stein’s full statement:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 23, 2016
Featured image via Win McNamee/ Getty Images