Attorneys representing Jill Stein will likely be in a Harrisburg courtroom Monday to argue why Pennsylvania should recount votes statewide that were cast in the presidential election, and her campaign says precinct-level recounts could begin as early as Wednesday.
A new order from the Commonwealth in a lawsuit funded by Stein this afternoon set that Dec. 5 hearing and a deadline of noon Friday for Pennsylvania’s electors to respond to the suit. The electors are the people who comprise the state’s delegation to the electoral college, and will officially select the next president on Dec. 19. A conclusive decision on the suit must be reached by Dec. 13, according to the order.
A lawyer representing Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate who raise millions of dollars to fund statewide recounts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, filed a lawsuit Monday afternoon in Commonwealth Court on behalf of more than 100 voters. The suit asks for a full, statewide recount of the vote in every county based on concerns that a cyber attack may have tampered with the results of the election.
Stein has admitted there is no evidence to suggest such a cyber attack occurred. But her campaign drummed up volunteers in six counties across Pennsylvania to file recount petitions in their own voting divisions and, if voter fraud is found during those recounts, the Stein campaign could use that information to continue to lobby for a statewide recount.
It is highly unlikely a recount in Pennsylvania would overturn the results of the election. President-elect Donald Trump beat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by about 70,000 votes, or more than a full percentage point.
According to a spokesman for Stein’s campaign, voters have filed some 780 petitions in 260 election districts in Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Centre, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. That means that about 3 percent of precincts in Pennsylvania will be recounted.
The Stein campaign wants to go farther than that. It wants a full hand recount of the votes in counties that use opti-scan machines, which are similar to machines that scan standardized tests. These machines have a paper trail, and county officials say a recount would involve recounting the paper ballots.
In addition, Stein wants county officials in the other two-thirds of the state, including Philadelphia and the suburban counties, to conduct “forensic analyses” on their electronic machines that do not provide a paper trail to determine whether or not there may have been a security breach.
Stein’s campaign says the total cost of a recount for all three states is $9.5 million. The Pennsylvania recount accounts for just $500,000 of that.