Pennsylvania recount: Green Party’s Jill Stein launches $2.5M fundraiser

It’s kind of a longshot.

Jill Stein in Arizona.

Jill Stein in Arizona.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Updated 10:05 a.m. Nov. 24

The Green Party’s Jill Stein launched a last-minute bid Wednesday to raise millions of dollars to “demand” a recount in Pennsylvania, as well as in Michigan and Wisconsin.

By Thanksgiving morning, the fundraiser had blown past its goal — raising $2.5 million by Friday at 5 p.m. ET — with more than $3 million donated.

“After seeing compelling evidence of voting anomalies, the Stein/Baraka Green Party Campaign is launching an effort to ensure the integrity of our elections,” the fundraising call reads:

With your help, [we] are raising money to demand recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania– three states where the data suggests significant discrepancies in vote totals.

This effort to ensure election integrity is in your hands! We need to raise over $2 million by this Friday, 4pm central. In true grassroots fashion, we’re turning to you, the people, and not big-money corporate donors to make this happen.

“The petition deadlines are quick,” David Cobb, Stein’s campaign manager, said live on Facebook this afternoon. He added that the campaign needs to raise $1.1 million for the Wisconsin effort, $500,000 for Pennsylvania and $600,000 for Michigan. There will also be legal fees, he said.

“We are filing these recounts in an effort to determine if we can be confident in the reported election results,” Cobb said. “It really is just that simple.”

Cobb said the goal is to raise enough money to demand recounts in all three states. But, he added, if they only raise enough money for recounts in one state or two states, that’s what they’ll move forward with. If they don’t raise enough money for any recounts, Cobb said the money would be used for “election integrity efforts.”

“The real purpose of this is to verify the results,” he said. “That’s the reason that we’re going forward.”

The call for a recount gained mainstream traction yesterday, after New York Magazine reported that a group of computer scientists and election lawyers has urged the Clinton campaign to call for a recount in those three crucial states. The group, per the report, found evidence that voting machines “may have been manipulated or hacked.”

One of those experts, University of Michigan professor of Computer Science J. Alex Halderman, wrote on Medium that “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.”

President-elect Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania by about 70,000 votes. The margins are smaller in Michigan and Wisconsin: fewer than 10,000 votes and around 27,000 votes, respectively.

A recount in Pennsylvania would be, as Billy Penn previously reported, “a nightmare scenario,” as the state’s old voting machines “don’t create any sort of paper trail that can be used in cases of recounts.”

As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the campaign had raised $58,355.

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