Recounts in two other states could throw the election results into chaos
Jill Stein isn’t going to be president but her ongoing effort to deny President-elect Donald Trump the keys to the White House took a significant step forward on Friday with the state of Wisconsin accepting her petition to formally recount the state’s votes.
“What we’re doing is standing up for an election system that we can trust. We deserve to have votes that we can believe in,” Stein said in an update to her Facebook page after filing a petition with Wisconsin’s Election Commission. “This is a commitment that Greens have expressed — that we stand for election integrity, that we support voting systems that respect our vote. We demand voting systems that are accurate, that are publicly controlled, that are not privatized.”
By the current official tally, Trump won the state by slightly less than 30,000 votes. Even though Stein only received around one percent of the vote in Wisconsin, state law allows her request a recount if she’s willing to pay for it. That led a massive fundraising effort over the past week, where Stein successfully raised enough money, an estimated $5 million in just three days, to launch similar, self-funded recount efforts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, states also narrowly won by Trump. The $5 million total is more than she raises for her entire presidential campaign.
Stein says she isn’t doing this to help Hillary Clinton maneuver into the presidency but it’s hard to imagine her or her supporters launching a similarly enthusiastic campaign had Clinton won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote to Trump. In fact, the recount effort itself stems from a conspiracy theory floated by two election experts that voting machines were somehow hacked in swing states to ensure a Trump victory. That theory has been widely discounted by other election experts who say Trump’s victory matching up with voting demographics in those states, which saw him doing well with white voters without college degrees.
However, even if recounts in these states matchup with the initial results, they could still throw the election into peril if the hand recounts aren’t finished in time for state electors to cast their official votes for president.
"You may potentially have the state electoral votes at stake if it doesn't get done by then," Wisconsin Election Commission Commissioner Michael Haas said in a statement. "The recount process is very detail-oriented, and this deadline will certainly challenge some counties to finish on time.”