Jill Stein changes strategy in Pennsylvania recount

Green Party-backed voters who filed the case say they cannot afford the $1m bond ordered by the court.

Stein plans to hold a rally on Monday across the street from Trump Tower in New York [Bryan Woolston/Reuters]
Stein plans to hold a rally on Monday across the street from Trump Tower in New York [Bryan Woolston/Reuters]

The Green Party says it is switching strategy in its bid to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump.

Hours after dropping a state court case, it said late Saturday night that it will go to federal court instead.

A statement from the lead lawyer for the recount campaign said that it will seek an emergency federal court order for the recount. It said barriers to a recount in Pennsylvania are pervasive and the state court system is not equipped to address the problem.

Green Party leader Jill Stein later tweeted that The Stein campaign will fight for a statewide recount in PA. We are committed to protecting the civil and voting rights of all Americans.”

Stein’s lawyer Lawrence M Otter had earlier said the party withdrew the lawsuit filed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, due to the cost associated with the recount request.

“Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means. They cannot afford to post the $1m bond required by the Court,” read the filing.

Stein plans to hold a rally on Monday, across the street from Trump Tower in New York “vowing to fight tooth and nail to verify the accuracy, security and fairness of the vote,” a statement read.

On Twitter, Stein said “How odd is it that we must jump through bureaucratic hoops and raise millions of dollars so we can trust our election results?”

State election officials said on Friday that Trump now leads Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton by 49,000 votes in Pennsylvania, down from 71,000 as provisional and absentee ballots from overseas are recorded. 

Stein, who won about one percent of the presidential vote nationally, has sought recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The left-wing candidate’s fundraising efforts for recounts in these states have obtained nearly $7m so far, according to her website.

READ MORE: Trump backers ask courts to halt or prevent recounts

Her recount request in Pennsylvania was complicated by opposition from Trump. Michigan’s attorney general filed suit to halt Stein’s recounts efforts in the state. In Wisconsin, Trump supporters have tried to stop the recount there, as well.

Jill Stein launches vote recount bid in key US states

Stein has claimed that voting machines used in some parts of Wisconsin and other states are vulnerable to hacking and could have been manipulated.

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan are all industrial heartland states where Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had been expected to win, but lost to Trump, the nominee of the Republican Party.

Clinton led the national popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes, but lost in the decisive electoral vote, in which states are weighted by population.

Stein has sought a recount in Michigan and filed a lawsuit to force a recount in Pennsylvania. Recounting started across Wisconsin on Thursday, following payment this week of $3.5m in recount costs by Stein’s presidential campaign.

Trump has denounced Stein’s effort as a fundraising “scam” for the Green Party. But Clinton’s campaign said last week that they would participate in the recounts initiated by the Green Party .


Marc Elias, the Clinton campaign counsel, said the campaign had not planned to seek a recount, since its own investigation had failed to turn up any sign of hacking of voting systems.

“But 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,” Elias said in a post on the website, Medium.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies


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