Election 2017

Jill Stein drops state lawsuit for PA recount, turns to federal court

“The state court is ill-equipped to address this problem,” said the campaign.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein speaks to supporters while being heckled by detractors during the 2016 Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Arena.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein speaks to supporters while being heckled by detractors during the 2016 Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Arena.


Updated Dec. 4

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein dropped her lawsuit requesting a recount in Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon, citing inability to post a $1 million bond set by the judge. That appeared to indicate her quest for a full, statewide recount of the presidential votes in PA was over.

But late Saturday, the Stein campaign issued a statement saying it planned to “seek federal court intervention” and file for emergency relief on Monday to demand a statewide Pennsylvania recount  “on constitutional grounds.”

“The state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem,” the campaign said.

According to court documents filed on Saturday, Stein’s campaign dropped its Commonwealth Court lawsuit as it continues to seek recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin — all three states won by President-elect Donald Trump. Attorneys representing Stein wrote in a Pennsylvania court filing: “Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means. They cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the Court. Accordingly, kindly mark the above captioned matter withdrawn and discontinued.”

Stein’s lawyer, Lawrence Otter of Bucks County, filed a lawsuit in Harrisburg’s Commonwealth Court asking for a full recount of every Pennsylvania county. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of at least 100 state voters who believe “that there is a legitimate and good faith basis to contest the Presidential Election in the Commonwealth.”

Stein’s lawyer listed several reasons for the need to contest the election: the findings of data scientist Alex Halderman, the DNC hacks, alleged hacks in Illinois and Arizona and discontinuity between pre-election polls and the results. The voters who are part of the lawsuit stated they also want a recount to determine whether any hacking of Pennsylvania’s electronic voting machines took place.

The Pennsylvania GOP issued a statement in response to Saturday afternoon’s filing, saying “it was done for media attention.”

They wrote: “The November 8, 2016 Election produced a clear winner, Donald Trump, and the actions of Ms. Stein and her supporters to create the fear of chaos by making baseless accusations of the hacking of voting machines in Pennsylvania were an insult to all Pennsylvania voters.”

Want some more? Explore other Election 2017 stories.

Mornings are for coffee and local news

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter gives you a daily roundup of the top Philly stories you need to start your day.

You finished another Billy Penn article — keep it up!

We hope you found it useful, fun, or maybe even both. If you want more stories like this, will you join us as a member today?

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Your donation brought this story to life

Billy Penn only exists because of supporters like you. If you find our work valuable, consider making a sustaining donation today.

Being informed looks good on you

Thanks for reading another article, made possible by members like you. Want to share BP with a friend?