Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has raised over $3.7 million in just over a day for a vote recount in the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Jill Stein is concerned over voting irregularities and electronic voting machines that are susceptible to hacking, which registered 25% off all votes without leaving behind a paper record.
Stein says that if there ever was a time in an election for a vote recount, it would be now, with all the shenanigans and hackings that accompanied the 2016 US presidential race.
Stein is outraged that in a so called democracy she is forced to raise double the amount that she spent during her entire presidential campaign just to double check the vote tally in three states.
On Wednesday, the Stein campaign announced that it had begun raising funds for the three state recount in what it said was a “multi-partisan effort to check the accuracy of the machine-counted vote tallies in these states in order to ensure the integrity of our elections.”
Stein cited a host of concerns brought to her by voters, computer scientists, and voting systems professionals as the reason for filing for the recount. Her announcement follows on recent reporting that the Clinton campaign was also considering filing similar hand-count recounts and forensic analyses of electronic voting in the same states.
Stein’s online campaign has spread like wildfire, and has already raised well over the $2.2 million formally needed to file for a recount in the three key states ahead of deadlines on November 25, 28 and 30. Other costs associated with the recount, including attorney’s fees and statewide recount observers are expected to run anywhere from $6-7 million. Accordingly, Stein’s campaign is asking for at least $4.5 million, having already raised $3.7 million as of 2 pm EST.
That figure officially surpasses the $3.509 million the Green Party candidate raised during her presidential run. Stein received 1.39 million votes, or just over 1% of the popular vote, in the election held earlier this month.
Speaking to Brad Friedman, host of Radio Sputnik’s Bradcast, Stein offered details about what it was she was trying to accomplish with her initiative.
Simply put, she said that the recount effort is meant to assure voters that their votes were accounted for and counted accurately. “We have to move really fast in order to basically verify the vote and be confident our votes were actually counted, that they weren’t flipped or stripped and that we have a system of elections we can believe in,” the candidate explained.
Stein said that her “interest as a citizen, as a person in America, that the vote be valid,” is what’s driving the effort from her end. “Why would anyone in their right mind not want to have secure and verified vote? In a very vicious, hotly contested election that used hack-friendly voting machines, in a hack-riddled election, we deserve some confidence in the outcome of this election,” she said.
“I’m responding to a [group] of people…observers and advocates, both experts and just ordinary citizens, who feel like this is unacceptable and that these machines as a baseline is not the way we should be voting.”
“Then there are allegations of voting irregularities that I cannot testify to myself – as I understand these are rather debatable grey zones at this point. But I think there is plenty of evidence to say that we deserve confidence in our voting system,” she added.
Stein stressed that it’s actually an “outrage we have to go to extraordinary lengths to verify the vote.”
“This is something we shouldn’t have to ask a recount for. We shouldn’t have to spend a million dollars in Wisconsin alone in order to be confident of our vote. The tragedy is that this is not built into our voting system – that 25% of Americans vote on these electronic machines that have no paper record whatsoever. This is really a mockery of democracy – one of many incredible vulnerabilities of our democracy and our elections.”
Ultimately, Stein suggested that “if ever there was a time to stand up and demand an accountable and secure vote, this is the time to do it. If we don’t do it now, when exactly – what would be the cause to do it?”
Stein noted that “it feels really good to be standing up right now and to be surrounded by so many people who say that it’s time for us to take control of our democracy, to use the resources that we have right now to stand up – to give ourselves a gift on this Thanksgiving and have something to be thankful for…”
The Green Party plans to hold a conference in Washington, DC in February devoted to the 2016 election, including the concepts and issues of verified voting, rank choice voting, the Electoral College and opening up the debates to more independent candidates.
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