Clinton campaign backs vote recount efforts

Green Party, Clinton campaign push for vote recount in battleground states.

Chana Roberts,

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Green party nominee Jill Stein has pushed for a vote recount in the battleground state of Wisconsin. Stein herself won only 1% of the national vote, indicating her recount campaign is not motivated by a personal interest to become president.

On Saturday, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton announced her campaign's intent to back Stein's push for a statewide vote recount.

Campaign lawyer Marc Elias wrote in a post on Medium that, "Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides."

Elias also acknowledged that "the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closes of these states - Michigan - well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount." However, he feels it is "important, on principle" to join and oversee the process.

"We certainly understand the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton, and it is a fundamental principle of our democracy to ensure that every vote is properly counted," Elias wrote. "Now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported."

Hillary Clinton's campaign said Saturday it intends to back the statewide election recount effort in the battleground state of Wisconsin spearheaded by third-party candidate Jill Stein.

For their part, Wisconsin election officials admitted to receiving Stein's paperwork, but insisted on waiting to receive a cost estimate from the county clerks.

Clinton's campaign is trying to fundraise $7 million to pay for the recount effort. As of Friday afternoon, they had managed to raise $5.2 million. However, Stein has expressed an intent and desire to pay for the recount out of pocket.

Wisconsin law calls for a vote recount at any candidate's request, provided the candidate can pay to fund the recount. However, the state has never actually performed a recount, and election officials estimate the effort will cost up to $1 million.

It is not clear why they do not wish to take money from the Clinton Fund, since they have used the charity to fund personal expenses - even non-necessary ones - in the past.

Stein also plans to file for a recount effort in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Unlike Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Michigan has not yet finished counting its votes, and has not yet declared an official winner. Though Michigan's electoral votes have not gone to a Republican candidate since 1988, they have so far given Trump a 10,704-vote lead over Clinton.

President-elect Donald Trump still holds narrow leads in all three states, but it is widely accepted that Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are the states which allowed him to win the elections. His team has continuously ignored Stein's vote recount campaign, instead focusing on his expected transition to the White House.

In Wisconsin, Trump led Clinton by a full 22,000 votes, and in Pennsylvania, his lead is currently 70,010.

Though Trump won a landslide victory with over 290 electoral votes, Clinton still leads in the popular vote, and her lead has grown to over 2 million.

The deadline to request a recount is next Wednesday, and the deadline by which a recount must be finished is December 13.

As of Friday, Clinton had secured two million more votes than the president-elect. However, in order to win the presidency, she would need to win all three of those states. Currently, Clinton has won 232 electoral votes, versus Trump's 290 and the required 270 to win the presidency.

The Obama administration, however, does not support a recount.




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