Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee, arrives at a rally July 27, 2016, in Philadelphia. (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)
A Green Party-backed campaign will take its fight for a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s votes in the presidential election to the federal courts after it dropped a case in the state courts.
“We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans,” Jonathan Abady, lead counsel for the recount campaign, said in a statement. “Over the past several days, it has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention.”
Green Party-backed recount efforts continued in some precincts over the weekend, despite the state case being dropped.
The recount campaign, led by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, cited financial difficulties when deciding to withdraw the case. The court filing described the Green Party-backed voters who filed the case “regular citizens of ordinary means” who cannot afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by Monday, the Associated Press reported.
Instead, the campaign plans to push for the statewide recount in federal court on Monday, demanding a recount on constitutional grounds.
On Saturday night, Stein tweeted that “On Monday, I will escalate #Recount2016 in PA and file to demand a statewide recount on constitutional grounds. The people deserve answers.”
Donald Trump, who won the electoral vote on Election Day, has a 70,638-vote lead in Pennsylvania.
Stein claims electronic voting systems are at risk of hacking in Pennsylvania, as well as Michigan and Wisconsin, but she hasn’t provided evidence.
The Republican Party pushed back against the state court case, asking the court to dismiss it. Lawrence Tabas, a GOP lawyer, claimed the recount campaign is only interested in putting off the Electoral College vote for President-elect Donald Trump, the Associated Press reported.
It’s not clear what Stein’s motive is in pushing for a recount, but she and her supporters have inched closer to their $7 million fundraising goal, though at the time Stein believed the Pennsylvania recount would cost $500,000, excluding the $2-3 million in legal fees. Stein and her supporters have raised more than $6.9 million for recount efforts in the three states.
Pennsylvania’s automatic statewide recount trigger is 0.5%, according to the Associated Press. Stein drew less than 1% of the votes cast.
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