Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has called for a recount in three key battleground swing states. States that Hillary Clinton narrowly lost to president-elect Donald Trump. The states that the Stein campaign are currently focusing on are Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. If these 3 states were to flip to Clinton it would give her the needed electoral votes to take the presidency away from Trump. Stein is quoted as saying “We don’t have a smoking gun but on the other hand we have a system that invites hacking, tampering, and malfeasance”.
Fundraising for the recounts began on Wednesday with a starting goal of 2 million dollars which it rapidly surpassed by early Thursday morning. The goal was then raised to 4.5 million and again surpassed in record speed. Currently the goal for these recounts has been raised to 7 million and donations are still pouring in. The Stein campaign was only able to raise a little over 3.5 million dollars throughout her entire presidential run according to her campaigns finance reports.
The speed that these donations are coming in has raised concerns from the hacktivist group Anonymous. They claim that a bot was detected in the donation software and that donations Wednesday to Thursday were coming in at 160,000 an hour. In their video about the recount they claim that Hillary backer George Soros is behind the fundraising efforts. They go on to claim they have already found media stories from the major news outlets ready to go proclaiming Clinton the actual winner of the election. They also say that according to their sources Russia will be blamed for the hack of the voting machines. While others believe that the rapid donations are the result of Hillary supporters eager for the chance to overturn the election results.
Regardless of how the funds were raised and who might be behind it more than enough money has been raised at this point to cover the cost of these 3 states which comes in at 2.1 million dollars. The paperwork has already been filed and approved in Wisconsin and is scheduled to be completed within 13 days. The deadline for Pennsylvania is Monday and Michigan is Wednesday. Federal law requires that all recounts be completed 35 days after the election which is Dec. 13th. While the cost of the recounts may increase due to legal fees and other costs the Stein campaign says that any surplus of funds raised will go towards election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.
When Stein began this effort on Wednesday the Clinton camp was quoted as saying “Clinton does not support Stein and never will” but added that “they support democracy and the right to count every vote, and kudos to her for leading on this”. But, now that Stein has the funds raised and gotten the ball rolling, the Clinton camp has changed it’s tune and now intends to participate in the recount in Wisconsin. They say that if Stein follows through in Pennsylvania and Michigan they will participate in those states as well. Donald Trump, on the other hand took to Twitter to call this recount a ridiculous scam by the Green Party saying the election is over and the people have spoken.
I for one do not believe the Green Party is trying to scam the American voters. I truly believe that Jill Stein’s motivations for these recounts is in the interest of democracy. I have seen many reports of people who voted for Jill Stein showing final results from their particular counties of Stein having zero votes and I’m sure that the Stein campaign has as well. Where my opinion differs from Mrs. Stein is that I have very little faith that even if this recount determines that there was fraud, which I believe there was on both sides, it won’t improve the integrity of our voting process or protect us in the future.
I believe that any fraud detected will be blamed on our current scapegoat, the Russians. Promises and assurances will be made that this will never be allowed to happen again but it will just be a smokescreen and things will go right back to business as usual in the next election. I think it is naive for Jill to believe that this recount will do anything more than allow Hillary Clinton another opportunity to steal the presidency. It is my belief that this recount itself will be manipulated.