Jill Stein, the Green Party’s failed presidential nominee, and her recount plans have shaken up American politics to a historic degree in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. In the aftermath of news that a group of computer scientists detected voting irregularities in the critical swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, Jill Stein has put donor’s money where her mouth is and is spearheading a controversial recount effort that has the potential to change the outcome of the highly contested election.
While many thought that she couldn’t pull it off, last week Jill Stein put out the call for donations to fund her controversial recount effort in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. At the time of this publication’s drafting, Stein has raised over $6.3 million to cover the costs of hand-recounting votes.
So far, Jill Stein has only bought-and-paid-for a recount in Wisconsin, a state that Donald Trump won by under 30,000 votes. As CNN reports, the former reality TV star turned-President-elect has not been kind when talking about Jill Stein and her recount efforts. He’s called the whole thing “a scam” and “ridiculous,” even accusing Stein of doing more than trying to raise money for other purposes.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount.”
Despite the President-elect’s harsh words, Jill Stein paid and filed for her Wisconsin recount on Friday, just hours before the deadline to do so in that state. Michigan (finally) certified its election results on Monday reports ABC News, declaring Donald Trump the winner by only 10,704 votes. The official certification of the Michigan results has paved the way for Jill Stein to file for a recount in that swing state, something Stein has stated that she will do by Wednesday.
While Donald Trump’s winning margin in Pennsylvania was much greater than in Wisconsin and Michigan combined, Jill Stein has promised to file for a recount there, too. What’s more, she’s raised enough money to follow through on her vow.
On Monday, CNN reports that Jill Stein sat down for an interview with Anderson Cooper, and she defended her controversial recount efforts, efforts which many allege have driven a deeper wedge into an already divided populous.
So the woman with the least votes (along with the crazy pot guy ) wants a recount ??— Law Lady (@binthaq) November 29, 2016
Now I have seen everything
@CNNPolitics No other way to describe it: Its DEMOCRACY working the way it is supposed to, for all parties. Why question her and not Trump?— Edward Zaleski (@LineDrawnMind) November 29, 2016
@AC360 Look We're all thinking it How in the Hell did trump pull this off with all the bad he brought to the table She just Made it happen.— Lar'ae (@SinistarMoca) November 29, 2016
@CNN Sure Jill defends her $6 million recount with Hillary. They r entitled rich white women that r entitled to have things go their way.— Butch Johnston (@CosmoSage) November 29, 2016
During her Monday interview, which aired on Anderson Cooper 360, Jill Stein addressed the question of why she has so persistently pushed her recount effort, even though no official fraud has been detected.
“What we have are predictors that if tampering took place, it would be most likely to be discovered in the three states where we are looking. Unless we actually look, we would never know.”
Unwilling to let the issue go that easily, Cooper followed up with another pointed question aimed at Jill Stein and her recount.
“But without having the evidence, aren’t you actually contributing, perhaps unfairly, to that lack of confidence in the system itself?”
Stein went on to explain the reasoning behind her controversial, but well-funded, recount mission. According to the Green Party’s presidential nominee, she’s basing her call for a recount on the claims of the group of computer scientists that alleged possible inconsistencies.
While even they, like Jill Stein, fell short of alleging actual proof of fraud, the computer scientists did say that they’d seen compelling evidence that something could be off in the official vote tallies. The reason boils down to electronic voting machines and the fact that Hillary Clinton did roughly seven percent worse in areas that used the electronic voting method vs. traditional paper ballots.
Further concerning numbers have come out of exit polling data, which have indicated that Hillary Clinton might have won in certain areas, despite final counts to the contrary.
“What the voting technology experts tell us is that you cannot tell unless you’re actually counting paper votes. And I don’t think the FBI has done that.”
At this point, Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote by more than 2.2 million votes, something Jill Stein has also pointed out during her recount efforts. Somehow Trump, whose popular vote loss has made him the “least popular” President-elect in decades, still managed to eke out an electoral college win. According to Jill Stein, what she wants to do is make sure that his win is a legitimate one.
For Trump’s part, he has claimed that Clinton only won the popular vote because of “millions of illegal voters,” reports Fox News. States across the nation, not to mention politicians and private citizens, have repudiated the President-elect’s claims.
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
Alex Padilla, California’s Secretary of State, responded to Trump’s allegations, allegations that have only surfaced since Jill Stein began pushing for recounts in critical swing states.
“It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him. His reckless tweets are inappropriate and unbecoming of a President-Elect.”
Since his baseless claims made regarding Jill Stein’s recount efforts and alleged voter fraud that he was unconcerned before Jill Stein raised her millions, Trump has gone on a Monday afternoon Twitter rampage in response to his critics, primarily targeting CNN.
.@CNN is so embarrassed by their total (100%) support of Hillary Clinton, and yet her loss in a landslide, that they don't know what to do.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
Some members of the media have responded, begging the President-elect to provide proof of his voter fraud claims so that the story can be accurately reported on.
@realDonaldTrump Good evening! Have been looking for examples of voter fraud. Please send our way. Full-time journalist here still working.— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) November 29, 2016
As of Monday night, no such proof has emerged.
With Jill Stein’s recount effort getting underway in Wisconsin and anticipated in both Michigan and Pennsylvania, many are concerned about the upcoming Electoral College vote on December 19. That is when electors officially vote for the POTUS, and some are saying that a lengthy recount process could delay or even potentially thwart the electoral vote certification in impacted states. If so, the repercussions to the election cycle could be profound and unprecedented.
Even so, Jill Stein is moving doggedly ahead with her recount plan, even defending it using the mainstream media as a platform.
[Featured Image by D. Ross Cameron/AP Images]