Green Party Abandons One Recount in Pa., Starts Another

Jill Stein and Co. will turn to federal courts to force a recount, end effort in state courts
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 4, 2016 6:03 AM CST
Green Party Abandons One Recount in Pa., Starts Another
In this Oct. 6, 2016 file photo, Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein meets supporters during a campaign stop at Humanist Hall in Oakland, Calif.   (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

A Green Party-backed campaign changed its strategy to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 presidential election, won by Donald Trump, and said late Saturday that it will seek an emergency federal court order on Monday for a recount, hours after abandoning an effort in the state courts, reports the AP. "Make no mistake—the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania," recount campaign lawyer Jonathan Abady said in a statement, via the Philly Voice. "We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans." Abady said barriers to a recount in Pennsylvania are pervasive and the state court system is ill-equipped to address the problem. Saturday's court filing to withdraw the case said the Green Party-backed voters who filed it "are regular citizens of ordinary means" and cannot afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by 5pm Monday.

The case in Pennsylvania court has been part of an effort to force recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Green Party candidate Jill Stein had said the purpose of Pennsylvania's recount was to ensure "our votes are safe and secure," considering hackers' probing of election targets in other states and hacks of Clinton staffers and the DNC. Lawyers for Trump and the state GOP argued there was no evidence, or even an allegation, that tampering with Pennsylvania's voting systems occurred. Further, Pennsylvania law does not allow a court-ordered recount, they argued, and a lawyer for the Green Party had acknowledged that the effort was without precedent in Pennsylvania. The case also threatened Pennsylvania's ability to certify its electors by the Dec. 13 federal deadline, GOP lawyers argued. Trump's margin of victory in Pennsylvania is 49,000, or less than 1%, out of 6 million votes cast. Pennsylvania's automatic recount trigger is 0.5%. (More Jill Stein stories.)

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