Earlier this week, the Green Party's Jill Stein announced a crowdfunding campaign to raise money toward vote recounts in three battleground states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan — on the basis of alleged vote tampering and voter suppression. Stein originally set a fundraising goal of $2.5 million for this campaign, which had Black Friday for a deadline, but when donors successfully raised that amount within a day, the Stein campaign modified its website to explain that costs for a recount might be higher than originally expected. So, how much money does Stein still need to raise?
After the campaign surpassed its $2.5 million goal, the Stein campaign increased the donation goal to $4.5 million in order to account for higher costs. By Friday, however, the donation page reported having already received more than $5 million in donations, and on her Facebook page, Stein congratulated donors for raising enough money to file for recounts in both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. She also called for them to start working toward Michigan's Wednesday deadline.
In the original announcement for the crowdfunding campaign, Stein's campaign manager David Cobb estimated just over $2 million in costs, which included $1 million to file for a recount in Wisconsin, $500,000 in Pennsylvania, and $600,000 in Michigan. But since the campaign surpassed both the $2.5 million and $4.5 million goals, the donation page is now calling for a total of $7 million — or, more specifically, between $6 million and $7 million — which it says it needs in order to cover attorney's fees and statewide recount observers in all three states.
Theoretically, this means that Stein has less than $2 million left to raise before she and the Green Party are able to file for vote recounts in all three states. According to The Washington Post, however, it looks like they might actually be heading to court in Pennsylvania, where the official deadline for a recount petition has already passed.
Stein has made it clear that she is crowdfunding for these recounts because she wants to preserve election integrity and not because she thought any particular candidate should have won. Nevertheless, according to The Guardian, President-elect Donald Trump won by 0.7 percent in Wisconsin, 1.2 percent in Pennsylvania, and just 0.3 percent in Michigan, so if the vote recounts actually come to pass and have a tangible impact, it is Hillary Clinton that is in a position to benefit.
While some liberals believe Stein's fundraising is a scam, local reporters like FOX6's Bret Lemoine have noted that at least in Wisconsin, the state is already preparing for a recount. What remains to be seen now is what will happen once the campaign hits the $7 million mark — which, if the donations keep pouring in as they have been, shouldn't be too far in the future.