Millions of dollars were raised by failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein in just a few days to hopefully force a manual recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania – is it a fund-raising scam disguised as a recount?
Stein filed a recount demand in Wisconsin on Friday and tomorrow state officials will meet to discuss the timeline for the effort.
“We have assembled an internal team to direct the recount, we have been in close consultation with our county clerk partners, and have arranged for legal representation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice,” said Wisconsin Elections Commission Director Mike Haas in a statement.
Now that the recount is a real thing in Wisconsin, the Hillary Clinton campaign is piling on – even though they admit that despite exhaustive efforts, no evidence of tampering or fraud was found by their investigators.
Mark Eric Elias, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign general counsel, announced in a post on Medium that they would be following Stein’s lead.
“Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate,” Elias said.
No recount requests have been filed in either Michigan or Pennsylvania at this time and Stein’s time may be running out. A request must be filed in Pennsylvania by Monday and Michigan requires a filing by Wednesday.
Will Hillary follow?
“If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well,” Hillary’s lawyer wrote.
To flip the electoral college, the recounts in all three states would have to result in a Clinton win. While any one state is highly improbable, Clinton having the results turn in her favor in all three is impossible.
Given that recounts tend to change the results by less than a thousand votes, why would Stein and Clinton go through this effort? Even Clinton’s general counsel admitted so much in his blog post.
We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount.
It’s possible that this is nothing more than a ploy to raise millions of dollars for … whatever – not something with which the Clinton’s are unfamiliar.
Jill Stein only raised $3.6 million during her entire presidential campaign, but suddenly she’s able to raise almost $7 million in less than a week – after only asking for $2-3 million initially. As New York Magazine contributor Yashar Ali posted on Twitter, the amount Dr. Stein needed rose as more money rolled in.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 یاشار (@yashar) November 24, 2016
Oh, but surely that money will be returned to donors if all three recounts don’t happen… right .. right?? Nope.
From Stein’s website, we learn that she’ll use any additional funds as she sees fit to push the cause of “election integrity.”
We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in WI and MI and support the voter-initiated effort in PA.
If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.
The reason that filings have not yet happened in Pennsylvania or Michigan is likely due to more strict requirements in the later two states.
In Pennsylvania, a candidate cannot initiate a recount. Stein would have to file an appeal, contesting the results, and win a prima fascia case in Pennsylvania court proving that there was fraud – which absolutely no one alleges.
In Michigan, it’s an even taller order as the Stein/Clinton team of sore losers will have to file a petition in every single district claiming fraud or mistakes – also which no one has any evidence of…
Jill Stein would have to present evidence of fraud or systematic error in every MI county to initiate a statewide recount. It's a pipe dream pic.twitter.com/q19r9THelr
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 26, 2016
There won’t be a recount in all three states and even if there were, Clinton would have to overcome larger vote disparities than ever in history.
Even if Dr. Stein’s effort doesn’t actually achieve her stated goal, she will gain a great deal of publicity and millions of dollars will go from blind Clinton loyalists into another failed Clinton initiative that looks a lot like a scam.
For non-Clinton supporters, take solace in the fact that you’ll get to see Hillary Clinton lose a third time in just a four-year period.