Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein upped the stakes Monday on recounts in key electoral states, filing a petition in Pennsylvania calling the Nov. 8 balloting illegal and claiming irregularities with electronic voting machines.
Stein filed for a recount in Wisconsin last week and also said she would petition for one in Michigan. A party spokesman said the recount effort has nothing to do with overturning the result of the election in which Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote to Republican Donald Trump.
“Petitioners have grave concerns about the integrity of electronic voting machines used in their districts,” the suit, filed by 100 Pennsylvania voters, stated.
Stein has raised more than $6 million for the recount effort, close to the $7 million goal set. Trump has labeled the fundraising effort a “scam.”
The recount demand is the latest wrinkle in a post-election saga. Sunday, after excoriating Clinton for supporting Stein’s efforts, Trump tweeted he would have won the popular vote if millions of illegal votes hadn’t been counted. There is no evidence, however, such massive vote fraud had been committed.
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Stein took Trump to task for that tweet.
"There is no evidence of illegal voters," Stein said in response. "You're entitled to your own opinions but you can't have your own facts."
But Trump doubled down on the allegation around midnight, charging there was vote fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California, and accused the media of ignoring it.
Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California - so why isn't the media reporting on this? Serious bias - big problem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2016
One way for a recount to go forward in Pennsylvania is for Stein and her supporters to present evidence of probably election fraud, something Secretary of State Pedro Cortez rejects even though the state uses voting machines with no paper backup.
“To imply that fraud is rampant – at any level – from the precinct-level to an entire city or state – is without merit and lacks any credence or proof within the modern history of elections in this country or commonwealth,” said Cortes, a Democrat.
"Tampering is not done in a way that declares itself. You have to actually go in and count the paper ballots," Stein said Sunday evening in an interview with NECN.
The alternative is for three voters in each precinct to file notarized petitions with local election boards. The state has 9,163 voting precincts, so Stein needs more than 27,000 voters to take part. However, the deadline for that was last Monday in some of the districts.
Trump won Pennsylvania by more than 70,000 of the 5.8 million votes cast.
Pennsylvania Republicans have accused Stein and Clinton of being in cahoots, something stein denied. She tweeted, however, she would be happy if the recount were expanded to the states Trump cited.
Though the Department of Homeland Security said it had seen no evidence of hacking on election day, intelligence experts before the election traced a series of attacks on voter databases in several states.