Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein launched a crowdfunding campaign on Wednesday in order to fund recounts in three key swing states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – where she claims there is “compelling evidence of voting anomalies.”
Prominent computer scientists have already alleged that irregularities in electronic voting indicates that there may have been some foul play.
In the space of just eight hours the campaign reached its goal of $2.5 million. On Thursday the campaign upped the goal to $4.5 million, revealing that the initial amount was to fund a recount in Wisconsin only and that the total cost of getting recounts in all three states could reach $7 million.
“These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified,” Stein said in a statement. “We deserve elections we can trust.”
Here’s the breakdown of the costs for each state, the deadline for filing for a recount and what president-elect Donald Trump’s victory margin was:
- Wisconsin: $1.1 million; Friday, November 25; 0.7 percent
- Pennsylvania: $0.5 million; Monday, November 28; 1.2 percent
- Michigan: $0.6 million; Tuesday, November 30; 0.3 percent
Legal fees of $2-$3 million and additional costs like statewide recount observers will bring the total to between $6 and $7 million.
Individuals can donate up to $2,700 on the fundraising page, but those wishing to give more can contribute up to $20,000 more by doing so directly to the Green Party.
Stein’s fundraising campaign comes just hours after Hillary Clinton was urged to ask for recounts by several prominent computer scientists and attorneys who have suggested that she may have been denied votes in some areas.
Stein insists her campaign is not about getting Clinton elected in a recount. Instead the movement is “part of an election integrity movement, to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is.” Clinton has yet to comment on the issue.
Please, God: like Gollum, let Jill Stein have a totally unforeseen and critical purpose
If a recount showed a victory for Clinton in all three states, the combined 46 votes would put her ahead of president-elect Donald Trump in the electoral college.
Even if the total funding goal is reached, there is no guarantee that an election recount will take place. “We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting,” the fundraising page explains. “We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states.”
J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society, was among those who urged Clinton to call for a recount: “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,” he wrote in a Medium post Wednesday. “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.”