Stein filed a petition in Wisconsin on Friday with some 90 minutes before the 5 p.m deadline requesting a recount of the votes cast for president, Wisconsin Elections Commission officials said.
Marc Elias, general counsel for the Clinton campaign, wrote in a post on [email protected][email protected]717ea39#.xokgk222z">Medium on Saturday that “now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.”
He cautioned, however, that the Clinton camp had not previously pushed for a recount because they “had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology.”
Elias said the campaign had “quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in our out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states,” including reaching out to lawyers and data scientists to examine the possibility of hacked voting results, and monitoring and staffing post-election canvasses and double-checking the math.
Stein had quickly raised $4.7 million from left-leaning voters concerned about voter fraud in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. She also set aside $2.5 million for the Wisconsin recount — which election officials said would cost around $1 million — and vowed to file the request before its deadline.
Under the state’s electoral laws, the Stein campaign will have to pay the entire estimated cost for the recount before it can be ordered.
President-elect Donald Trump currently holds a lead of just over 27,000 votes over Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin, but Stein’s campaign manager, David Cobb, wrote on Facebook that they believe the count may be wrong, based on reports “from cyber experts, from forensic experts, and others who are reporting to us some very troubling news about the possibility of security breaches in voting results across this country.”
The Wisconsin Election Commission told the Wisconsin State Journal that, although they haven’t identified any efforts of tampering with election results, they had been preparing for a recount.
“The Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States, as requested by these candidates,” Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas said in a statement Friday evening.
“We have assembled an internal team to direct the recount, we have been in close consultation with our county clerk partners, and have arranged for legal representation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice,” Haas added. “We plan to hold a teleconference meeting for county clerks next week and anticipate the recount will begin late in the week after the Stein campaign has paid the recount fee, which we are still calculating.”
The federal deadline for the recount is Dec. 13.
Trump released a statement on Saturday calling Stein’s recount effort a scam.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount,” Trump said.
He added that the “results of this election should be respected instead of challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing.”
The Stein petition was filed with little time remaining. Roughly three hours before the deadline to file the petition, the Wisconsin Elections Commission had tweeted that no petition had been filed.
Two hours before the deadline, Meleiza Figueroa, the press director for Stein’s campaign, told BuzzFeed News that “there were certain documents that had to be prepared before submission and they were gathering all the needed documents” before filing the petition.
In a tweet shortly after the petition was filed, Stein asked people to volunteer to observe the recount in every county in Wisconsin.
The Election Commission will now notify the public and all the candidates that the recount will be starting within two days of the petition being filed.
The Election Commission’s statement explained that a recount is different from an audit, which is already occurring across Wisconsin. A recount is much more “rigorous,” the statement said.
“In a recount, all ballots (including those that were originally hand counted) are examined to determine voter intent before being retabulated,” Haas explained. “If the candidates disagree with the results of the recount, the law gives them the right to appeal in circuit court within five business days after the recount is completed.”
The recount must be completed in under two weeks of it being ordered. After that, Stein will file petitions and potentially be granted recounts in the other two swing states. If all three states move to Clinton, she would win enough electoral college votes.
Pennsylvania’s recount deadline is Monday and Michigan’s is Wednesday.
Though recounts have been successfully commissioned before — in 2004 the Green Party commissioned a recount in Ohio to no avail — the result of a presidential election has never before been changed by a recount.
Link to original article from Buzzfeed