Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign reported Thursday morning that it raised enough money to fund a recount of Wisconsin’s presidential election.
Citing concerns of results legitimacy, Stein had warned Wisconsin state officials her campaign would request a recount in the state. The campaign also said Wednesday it would request recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Since the Stein campaign launched online drives Wednesday to raise the millions of dollars required for recounts in the three states, it has gathered more than $4 million. The campaign estimates a recount in Wisconsin would cost $1.1 million.
“The fact that in 24 hours we raised $4 million says that people are lacking confidence and want someone to take a look,” said Michael White, co-chairman of the Wisconsin Green Party.
He added that the Green Party is in the best position to call for a recount because the results won’t favor them. Preliminary results show Stein with 30,980 votes, just 1.1 percent of presidential votes cast on Nov. 8.
“What does the Green Party have to gain? The only thing that we have to gain is building trust in the electoral process and making sure we don’t have problems in the way it’s conducted,” he said.
White stressed that he and the Green Party are not alleging that the election results were manipulated, rather that there is an “apparent discrepancy” between the data exit polls collected and the ultimate result of the vote.
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White also cited reports that academics and activists had expressed concerns about the results. They reportedly had been trying to persuade Clinton’s campaign to seek recounts based on findings that raise questions of whether election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were subject to a cyberattack.
Wisconsin Elections Commission director Michael Haas said Wednesday that the commission has not seen credible evidence of any attempt to manipulate Wisconsin’s election results, although it is preparing for a recount ahead of Friday’s deadline for a candidate to formally request one.
“We don’t have any reason to suspect that any voting equipment has been tampered with,” Haas said.
Republican President-elect Donald Trump narrowly won Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania after trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton in pre-election polls in those states.
In Wisconsin, the state will pick up the cost of a recount if the margin of victory is less than 0.25 percent. Unofficial results show Trump and Hillary Clinton separated by a little more than 27,000 votes, or approximately 0.93 percent, so the recount fee is required.
While Wisconsin’s presidential election was close, it was not close enough to trigger a requirement that the state pay for a recount. That means whoever requests a recount would have to pay for it.
“We’re not trying to change the election, but verify the election process and ensure that it’s as transparent as possible,” White said.