Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein quickly raised the money she aimed to bring in to file for ballot recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — and now she’s looking for more.
Stein, who launched the fundraising effort to file for recounts Wednesday, hit her initial $2.5 million goal and then upped it Thursday to $4.5 million.
As of mid-afternoon Thursday, she had raised $3.94 million.
The third party candidate launched the recount effort after a group of election lawyers and data experts asked Hillary Clinton’s campaign to call for a recount to make sure a hack or cyberattack had not skewed results in the three states, which Clinton lost by small margins to Donald Trump.
No evidence has emerged that any such attack occurred.
“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,” Stein said in a statement announcing her fundraiser.
The group that contacted the Clinton campaign, led by voting rights attorney John Bonifaz and computer security expert J. Alex Halderman, pointed out the possibility that Clinton may have received fewer votes than expected in counties using electronic voting machines.
Her vote count in Wisconsin precincts that used electronic machines was down 7% as compared to counties that relied on paper ballots, according to an article in New York Magazine that first floated the vote manipulation theory.
Other data experts have said the numbers don’t indicate any irregularities, since the gap disappears after controlling for demographics.
Halderman said in a Medium post Wednesday that a recount should be done just to eliminate the possibility anything was amiss.
“The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania,” he wrote.
The initial report prompted a massive social media response, and over 180,000 people had signed an “audit the vote” petition by early Thursday.
The Clinton campaign has not publicly addressed the controversy and did not immediately return a request for comment from the Daily News.
The deadline to file for a recount is Nov. 25 in Wisconsin, Nov. 28 in Pennsylvania and Nov. 30 in Michigan.
“Election integrity experts have independently identified Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as states where ‘statistical anomalies’ raised concerns. Our effort to recount votes in those states is not intended to help Hillary Clinton,” Stein’s fundraising page says.
She details expected costs for recount filings, attorneys’ fees, and observers, but acknowledges she cannot guarantee the states will agree to do recounts.
“We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states,” the page says. “If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.”