As former Green Party candidate Jill Stein continues her efforts for statewide election result recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, a lesser known third-party candidate is quietly filing his own recount requests in other states across the country.
Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, a 2016 Reform Party candidate who ran on his track record as a successful businessman and a campaign platform of election reform, vowed to file for recounts in Nevada and Florida in a statement posted to his website this week. Hillary Clinton won Nevada in the general election by more than 25,000 what President-Elect Donald Trump garnered, while Fuente took just 2,552 votes, or .23 percent of the vote. He earned less votes than the "None of These Candidates” option, which received over 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, Trump won Florida, the largest battleground prize, with 29 electoral votes, with 4,617,886 to Clinton’s 4,504,975 votes.
Fuente said his efforts aren’t to prove the election was rigged in Trump’s favor, or to help the former secretary of state flip the White House in her favor, but rather to expose the vulnerabilities and issues with the nationwide voting system. He also critiqued the Clinton campaign for supporting Stein's efforts, which would hand Clinton the White House if the recounts were to yield surprise results.
"It is difficult to ignore that Hillary Clinton lost each of these states (including Wisconsin) and would become the president-elect if all three were to ‘flip’ as the result of a recount," Fuente wrote. "Obviously, that’s why the Clinton camp has now engaged in the recount process in contradiction to Hillary’s strong words against challenging the election results. Conversely, my only interest is to create a nationwide awareness of the vulnerability of our election system and to do everything possible to assure that your vote counts for the candidate for whom it is cast."
Fuente went on to mention several discrepancies he faced while campaigning throughout the 2016 election, including being denied ballot access in several states, as well as alleged election fraud and manipulation. The former candidate noted an audit in several states, even if they do nothing to change the result of the most contentious and polarizing presidential election in recent history, would shine a spotlight on voting issues across the country.
The millionaire businessman also said he was the first to file for a recount in Wisconsin, prior to Stein raising over $6.2 million in donations online toward her own efforts in the state.
"I will be redirecting my efforts to spot check two states: Florida, which President-elect Trump won, but which has a reputation for orchestrating tainted elections; and Nevada, which former Secretary Clinton won after winning that state’s caucus during the Democratic primary in a way that should have raised eyebrows,” Fuente continued. "Recounts at this level are a serious proposition. They need to be addressed in a non-partisan manner if their integrity is to be maintained. Auditing only states whose results would be advantageous to a particular candidate is not the way to do it."
Fuente has paid at least $14,000 so far to begin an official recount in Nevada.