This Thursday, former Green Party candidate Jill Stein raised well over a $2.5 million goal to fund election recounts in three key states where some experts are claiming the vote was either manipulated or hacked. Since then, the fundraising effort has surpassed $5 million, and now Stein has updated the targeted goal to $7 million.
As New York Magazine reported on Tuesday, a group of “prominent computer scientists and election lawyers” urged Hillary Clinton to seek recounts in the swing states due to the possibility that the vote was tampered with, although evidence for their claims is lacking.
At the end of the donation page, a clause reads:
We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states.
If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.
In addition to moving the goal past to $7 million, she noted that an additional “$2-3 million” would be needed for lawyer fees.
— David Fishman (@davidpkfishman) November 24, 2016
In the wake of the effort’s surprising success, the language on her website regarding the likelihood of a recount suddenly changed.
What’s even stranger is that she seems to be tinkering with some of the language on her website about the likelihood of a recount. On November 23, 2016, according to a screen capture by Tim Young, a political comedian, the website stated “[i]f we do not raise enough for any recount (which is highly unlikely) we pledge to use the money for election integrity efforts and to promote systematic voting system reform.”
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) November 24, 2016
LawNewz points out (see screen shot below) that on Friday morning after Young’s tweets were widely shared, the language regarding not raising enough money was removed.
According to The Washington Post, the Green Party has done this before, “to little result.”
In 2004, when many Democrats asked whether Ohio had been lost to voter suppression, the Green Party teamed up with the Libertarian Party to pay for a recount. David Cobb, the then-presidential candidate for the Green Party, had not even appeared on Ohio’s ballot, but he helped raise $150,000 to start the recount process. “Due to widespread reports of irregularities in the Ohio voting process,” said Cobb and Michael Badnarik, the then-presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, “we are compelled to demand a recount of the Ohio presidential vote. Voting is the heart of the democratic process in which we as a nation put our faith.”
The result: Democrat John F. Kerry gained a bit less than 300 votes on George W. Bush, making virtually no difference in the margin.
“Some security and election experts have publicly called for paper ballots to be checked in Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan, to make sure that the computers that counted those ballots weren’t hacked.” NPR‘s Camila Domonoske said. “There’s no evidence that the electronic machines were hacked or the election was compromised.”
Hopefully, Stein will apply the same transparency she demands of the election process towards the large amount of money that’s fallen into her hands as a result of her fundraising efforts.
Featured image via YouTube screen grab