MADISON, Wis., Nov. 25 (UPI) — Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has made good on her promise to order a recount in the state of Wisconsin, and she says the same is coming for Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Stein submitted a formal request Friday for the recount in Wisconsin, where Democrat Hillary Clinton lost to GOP contender Donald Trump — a critical battleground loss that helped hand Trump the presidency.
We’ve filed in Wisconsin! [The recount] will begin next week,” Stein tweeted Friday.
Wisconsin’s elections office said Friday that it has received Stein’s request, as well as a petition for recount from 2016 Reform Party presidential candidate Rocky Roque De La Fuente.
“The Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States, as requested by these candidates,” Wisconsin elections administrator Michael Haas said in a statement. “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.”
The announcement follows pledges by Stein to order recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — three states that went to Trump, despite voting Democratic in every presidential election since 1992.
That discrepancy has helped fuel speculation of vote tampering.
When a recount takes place, election officials must ensure each vote counted for a particular candidate was not intended by the voter to go to another candidate. It was this aspect that generated some ridicule in Florida in 2000 as officials looked closely at paper ballots for “hanging” or “pregnant” card hole aggregate debris, or “chads.”
Stein launched a fundraising page earlier this week to collect $2 million to pay for the recount efforts. That goal was quickly reached and Stein subsequently raised the desired level to $7 million — the amount believed necessary to obtain recounts in all three states. Nearly $5.3 million had been raised by Friday afternoon.
Stein said enough money has been raised to perform recounts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The deadline to order a recount in Michigan is Wednesday.
Clinton’s campaign has not yet formally challenged the election results, although a number of Democrats and supporters are encouraging it to do so. The election’s results have not yet been certified, meaning any number of recounts could still be ordered.
Forty-six electoral votes are at stake in the three states — enough to give Clinton the presidency if she came out ahead in all three.
Stein said Wednesday that she was preparing to demand recounts in those states — primarily, she said, due to allegations and theories of potential voting anomalies there. Stein has joined some experts in the belief that voting machines in those states could have been tampered with before the election.
Clinton’s deficit in all three states is very slim. She trailed Trump by less than 10,000 in Michigan, 23,000 in Wisconsin and 70,000 in Pennsylvania.
Another indication of possible tampering, critics believe, is the fact that Clinton held a commanding early lead in Pennsylvania on election night — with more than 60 percent of the vote — only to see that lead entirely disappear within the next couple hours.
The last time a Republican presidential candidate won any of those three states happened in 1988 when Michigan and Pennsylvania both voted for George H. W. Bush. Wisconsin hasn’t voted for a GOP candidate since Ronald Reagan four years earlier.
No recount effort has ever altered the outcome of a U.S. presidential election, although efforts in 2000 lasted for weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court put a stop to the recount in Florida and handed George W. Bush the presidency — despite the fact he lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore.
Clinton also beat Trump in the popular vote, by more than two million ballots.