Since the shocking election of Donald Trump as president-elect of the United States, numerous Americans have been trying to, well, figure out what exactly is going on. Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has been notably press-shy in the weeks since the election, while President Obama is reportedly tutoring Trump in how to be President. But one other vanquished presidential hopeful has one last-ditch effort to challenge Trump's legitimacy as president. Green Party nominee Jill Stein launched a fundraiser for a vote recount in three swing states. At press time, Stein had raised more than $1.4 million toward her $2.5 million goal.
The fundraiser is officially organized by the Stein/Baraka Green Party Campaign, and, according to the website, is "an effort to ensure the integrity of our elections." The financial goal was calculated by adding up the costs of filing fees for recount demands in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, where the Green Party contends "election integrity experts" have identified "statistical anomalies" that raised concerns.
"Our effort to recount votes in those states is not intended to help Hillary Clinton," the fundraising page states. "These recounts are part of an election integrity movement to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is."
The sense of urgency is real — filing deadlines to demand vote recounts in the three states in question all occur before the end of November. According to the fundraiser's estimates, filing fees in Wisconsin will cost $1.1 million, and are due by Nov. 25. In Pennsylvania, filing for a recount costs half a million dollars, and must be done by Nov. 28. In Michigan, where the presidential race is still too close to call, formally demanding a recount costs $0.6 million, and must be paid by Nov. 30.
Stein's Green Party isn't the only one suggesting that something may be amiss with this year's election results. Before the election, the White House announced that it believed Russian hackers targeted the Democratic National Committee, and after the election, the chief officer at the NSA said that Russia interfered in the election.
Even with Republican gerrymandering of the Electoral College, which makes it nearly impossible for Democrats to win states in middle America, the fact that Trump was named President-elect despite Hillary Clinton's 2 million vote lead in the popular vote has clearly prompted suspicion in Americans of all political stripes. But if Stein's campaign is successful, perhaps more Americans will become directly engaged with their democracy, and demand an end to outdated voting regulations that simply weren't designed to accommodate a country of more than 300 million people.