Madison: The Green Party filed on Friday for a recount in Wisconsin, following reports of voting discrepancies, and were seeking a deeper investigation into the election results, which handed the state to Donald Trump two weeks ago.
CNN quoted Wisconsin Green Party co-chairman George Martin as saying that they were seeking a “reconciliation of paper records” — a request that would go one step further than a simple recount, spurring, he said, an investigation into the integrity of the state’s voting system.
“This is a process, a first step to examine whether our electoral democracy is working,” Martin said.
The announcement came as Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s Thanksgiving fundraising blitz passed $5 million.
The money is well beyond the $2 million mark the Green Party initially set, and Wisconsin party officials said that any additional money not used for the recount would be used to train Green Party candidates for local office. The goal as of Friday was to raise $7 million.
“We don’t know, and we think the forensic computer experts have raised serious questions. What we do know is that this was a hack-riddled election … We know that there were attempts made broadly on state voter databases and we know that we have an election system that relies on a computer system that is wide open to hacks,” Stein told CNN’s John Berman on Thursday.
“It’s extremely vulnerable, Americans deserve to have confidence in our vote.”
Late Friday afternoon, the Wisconsin Elections Board said it had received the petition from Stein and the Green Party and “is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes.”
“We have assembled an internal team to direct the recount, we have been in close consultation with our county clerk partners, and have arranged for legal representation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice,” CNN quoted Wisconsin Elections Board Administrator Michael Haas as saying.
“We plan to hold a teleconference meeting for county clerks next week and anticipate the recount will begin late in the week after the Stein campaign has paid the recount fee, which we are still calculating.”
Hacking experts alerted the Clinton campaign earlier this week it was possible, based on voter low turnouts in some counties with electronic voting, that voting systems might have been hacked. But nobody has presented any evidence yet that they were tampered with.
A Hillary Clinton win in Wisconsin alone would not overturn Trump’s lead — it provides only 10 votes in the crucial electoral college that gave him victory in the November 8 election.
Stein also wants recounts in Michigan — where Trump leads Clinton by some 10,000 votes as the tabulation continues — and Pennsylvania.
Clinton’s camp has remained silent on the recount initiative.
The Trump campaign and his top advisers have dismissed the effort. Former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tweeted on Thanksgiving that their opponents were being sore losers.
“Look who ‘can’t accept the election results’ Hillary Clinton Supporters Call for Vote Recount in Battleground States,” Conway wrote.