Green Party candidate Stein files for recount in Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Despite only amassing around 49,000 votes in the November 8 Presidential election, Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein is asking Pennsylvania courts to consider a recount in all of the state's 67 counties.

Stein's lawyer, Larry Otter of Bucks County, filed a petition Monday afternoon on behalf of 100 statewide voters. Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court will now consider if there are enough valid reasons to contest the November 8 results.

Pennsylvania's Department of State recently certified the election, which gave Republican Donald Trump the state's 20 electoral votes after defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by over 71,000 votes. Stein has already filed for a statewide recount in Wisconsin, which will take place, and has announced her intentions to file a recount in Michigan. Trump beat Clinton by nearly 28,000 votes in Wisconsin, and 11,000 votes in Michigan.

The recount push was not publicly endorsed by the Clinton campaign, although her team said they would participate in viewing any election recounts.

Over the weekend, Stein pushed Pennsylvania supporters to petition their individual precincts to recount votes. In order to do so, three people per precinct needed to file affidavits, notarized by their county's election office. In a video posted Sunday to YouTube, Stein called Pennsylvania's recount process "especially complicated."

"Pennsylvania is the only state in which the recount process has to be initiated by thousands of voters," Stein said.

According to the Department of State, many of Pennsylvania's 67 counties already certified their elections. However, according to Stein's Pennsylvania coordinators, petitions were filed at more than 150 precincts statewide. Pennsylvania has over 9,000 voting precincts.

"A few of the bigger counties have not (certified)," said Carl Romanelli, a Stein campaign coordinator based in Wilkes-Barre. "That's where a lot of the activity is today."

The Department of State released a statement late Monday afternoon, saying they were aware of recount petitions in Berks, Bucks, Centre, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.

"However, we are not aware of how many have been filed in each county," the statement read.  "We have been working to gather that information from the counties.   Because the Department is not the filing agency, we are relying on reports from the counties.”

The Stein campaign is questioning the integrity of Pennsylvania's voting systems, which in many places, like Dauphin County, use 30-year old voting machines. None of Pennsylvania's election machines are connected to the internet. However, Stein's campaign believes a recount would show enough anomalies in the voting, such as votes for one candidate registering for another, that enough reasonable doubt would be produced to trigger a court-mandated recount.

"We 'Greens' have a great rapport with dedicated election officials in the counties," Romanelli said. "They are given lousy (machinery) to work with.

"We want to see if those 49,000 votes were in fact a legit 49,000 votes. Will the state take a stand for clean elections?"

The Department of State has consistently denied any connection to voter fraud.

Pennsylvania's Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason said Sunday Stein and Clinton were working together, adding Clinton was using the Green Party nominee as a "stalking horse."

Gleason added after the petition was filed Monday, "This desperate act by Jill Stein and those supporting her is a sad commentary on the failure of some to accept the results of the will of the people as reflected by their votes.”

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