In the past 48 hours we have seen Jill Stein of the Green party raise an alarming amount of money to launch a fundraising campaign for an election recount effort in 3 states won by Donald Trump.
As I previously reported, in only 2 days Stein has raised over $5 million (out of a $7 million goal) in order to challenge the election results in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The deadline to file in Wisconsin for a recount is today, while Michigan’s is on Monday followed by Pennsylvania’s on Wednesday. Stein estimates she would need at least $2.5 million for legal fees associated with a recount in Wisconsin alone, and quickly raised over that amount in less than 24 hours since launching the fundraiser.
Today, she announced that she will officially be filing the necessary forms to initiate the recount efforts in Wisconsin, which election officials say is going to cause extreme frustration.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin election officials are warning a potential presidential recount in the state will create significant frustration for county clerks.
State Elections Commission Elections Supervisor Ross Hein sent a memo to clerks on Wednesday telling them that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is expected to request a recount by 5 p.m. Friday. The Stein campaign has been trying to raise money online to pay for recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Hein wrote in the memo that the commission understands the last thing clerks want to hear after a labor-intensive election season is a recount order but said that’s Stein’s right under state law. He added that election officials are certain the recount will create “numerous challenges and significant frustration.”
As of right now, Stein has raised over $5.1 million towards her recount initiative, almost $2 million more than she raised during her entire presidential campaign (only totaled $3.5 million), leading some to wonder who exactly was behind the funding for this effort.
The Guardian reports:
As more money flooded in for her effort – which aims to fund recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states where Donald Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton – she admitted she had no hard evidence of fraud but said the systems were vulnerable.
Her campaign team said it would formally file in Wisconsin before the 5pm ET deadline to do so; the recount motion deadlines for the other two states are next week.
The fundraising site explained that Stein’s campaign “could not guarantee” any of these states would have a recount. “We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states,” the site said. “If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.”
One also has to wonder why Stein has decided to only target 3 key swing states that Donald Trump narrowly won, rather than states like Nevada (+2.4%) or Minnesota (+1.5%) that Hillary Clinton achieved narrow victories in as well.
Of course Stein was also careful to mention that she “could not guarantee” any results of the recount, but the fact that she may be tying up the resources of these states to even make this effort is concerning, considering the only person it could help is Hillary Clinton.
This move could also serve to further enflame the anti-Trump protesters, who have rallied behind the “Clinton won the popular vote” message, even though it’s irrelevant because the election outcome would have been totally different if it was based solely on the number of votes a candidate received. It would mean that Donald Trump would be focusing on states like New York and California extensively, rather than targeting Mid-west swing states as he did during the election, which could have resulted in him winning the popular vote in this scenario.
Regardless of if this recount effort achieves anything, it would also push the media narrative of “Russian hackers” and “fake news” being possible drivers behind Trump’s victory, which they have already started to grumble about. Watch for headlines next week from the mainstream media that discuss these topics, as they may be planning a coordinated effort to make Trump’s presidency seem illegitimate.