Could A Vote Recount Happen Without Hillary Clinton's Request? Jill Stein Is Working On It
Jill Stein, presidential candidate for the Green Party, pulled in more than a million votes in November's general election. It might sound like a lot, but it's just a drop in the large bucket of more than 130 million voters who cast their ballots on or before Election Day. Even so, the Green Party candidate still seems to have an interest in the results. According to reports, Stein wants a vote recount in three battleground states, but she's likely not asking for her own sake. Instead, she states on her website that she's doing it to "shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is."
CNBC reported that Stein has asked her supporters to donate more than $2 million to cover filing fees for recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Per the current election results, all three of those key battleground states turned red for President-elect Donald Trump, but Clinton came within about 1 percentage point of him in each. Had he lost those states, it's possible that Trump wouldn't have accumulated the 270 Electoral College votes that he needed to declare victory.
Stein herself took fourth place in all three of those states, falling far behind Trump and Clinton and losing more closely to Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson. According to CNN, the Green Party nominee picked up less than 1 percent of the vote in Pennsylvania and just over 1 percent in Michigan and Wisconsin each.
Although Clinton publicly conceded to Trump the day after the election, some experts have called for the Democratic nominee to demand a recount in the very states that Stein now has an interest in. It's unclear what allegedly persuasive evidence these experts found to convince themselves that a recount was in order, but given the close races in all three of the battleground states, they could conceivably have a valid argument.
For her part, Clinton hasn't given any indication that she wants a recount. Rather, she seems to be soaking up her post-election life. Over the weekend, the former Democratic nominee was spotted at a local bookstore in Westerly, Rhode Island, where she was apparently shopping with her family.
Even if Clinton doesn't want a recount, though, Stein can call for one, provided she raises enough money to pay the filing fees. She has asked supporters to donate online by Friday, which makes sense given that the deadlines for filing are coming up quickly. True to third-party fashion, Stein has taken a grassroots approach to fundraising with a donation page on a crowdfunding platform.
Whether she reaches her crowdfunding goal or not, Stein likely won't stop advocating for her beliefs any time soon. Although she lost the presidential election, she has remained vocal since Nov. 8, particularly about timely issues like the Dakota Access Pipeline. She has also taken to social media to encourage her followers to organize early in preparation for the next presidential election.
If she is able to secure a recount, there's no telling how long the process could take. In the presidential election of 2000, there was a controversial vote recount in Florida, which caused the election drama to drag on until Dec. 12, when the Supreme Court formally ruled on the results. Either way, Americans will still be talking about the election on Dec. 12 of this year. But a recount called by Stein could give some unhappy voters a bit of hope that the results in at least three states could change.