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Jill Stein to escalate fight for vote recount in Pennsylvania in Federal Court

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Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for president in 2016. Official portrait obtained from Jill presidential campaign. special instructions: elex2016

JUST IN: The campaign of Green Party Presidential nominee Jill Stein announced late Saturday night that it will escalate the fight for a statewide vote recount in Pennsylvania.  That is a change from earlier in the day, when her attorneys said the push for a recount would be dropped.

A statement issued by Jonathan Abady, lead counsel to the Stein recount efforts reads:

“Make no mistake – the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania. We are committed to this fight to protect the civil and voting rights of all Americans. Over the past several days, it has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention.  As a result, on Monday the Stein campaign will escalate our campaign in Pennsylvania and file for emergency relief in federal court, demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds.”

 

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein said Saturday she is dropping her bid for a statewide election recount in Pennsylvania.

Citing a major cost placed on voters due to a court ruling that says the voters requesting the recount must pay a $1 million bond, Stein also said she will be making a “major announcement” regarding her next steps in the recount process at a 10 a.m news conference Monday outside Trump Tower in New York.

“The judge’s outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation,” Stein said in a statement. “This is yet another sign that Pennsylvania’s antiquated election law is stacked against voters. By demanding a $1 million bond from voters yesterday, the court made clear it has no interest in giving a fair hearing to these voters’ legitimate concerns over the accuracy, security and fairness of an election tainted by suspicion.”

Stein campaign spokeswoman Jordan Brueckner later clarified that while petitioners withdrew their case for a statewide recount Saturday, recounts in hundreds of precincts in some Pennsylvania counties — including Philadelphia, Allegheny and Lehigh — will continue. The campaign is also still pushing for forensic audits of voting machine software in the state.

Stein tweeted that the expense of the recount was cause by elected leaders.

“#Recount2016 is so expensive because of elected leaders who have refused to invest in a 21st-century voting system.”

Stein has spearheaded a recount effort in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — three battleground states where Donald Trump narrowly defeated Hillary Clinton.

Pennsylvania is not the only state where recount efforts are running into opposition. Michigan’s attorney general, a Republican, filed a suit to stop a recount in his state Friday and Trump supporters in Wisconsin this week have also tried to stop the recount in progress there.

Stein raised nearly $7-million to fund the recount efforts, following news that security experts alerted Clinton’s campaign to the possibility of hacks in key counties in those states.

Despite the fact there’s been no credible evidence so far of election tampering, Stein has maintained in recent interviews — including with CNN — “you cannot tell unless you’re actually counting paper votes.”

Clinton’s campaign has sent its lawyers to participate in the recount process to “ensure that it is fair to all sides,” Marc Elias, the campaign’s counsel, wrote in a post on Medium earlier this week.

Trump has dismissed the recount efforts as a “scam.”