Campaign Shifts Pennsylvania Recount Effort From State To Federal Court


Lawyers for the presidential campaign of Green Party candidate Jill Stein have changed tactics in their legal effort to force a recount of the vote in Pennsylvania, shifting their case from the state to federal level. The campaign will now seek an emergency federal-court order on Monday asking for a recount on constitutional grounds, according to the Associated Press, after having dropping their case in the state courts on Saturday. It appears the change is due to Pennsylvania setting a $1 million bond, due Monday, to proceed with the recount. Stein rejected that requirement in a statement released late Saturday:


The judge’s outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation. 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.


As Politico points out, the previous recount-cost estimate by state officials was $500,000. Stein has raised about $6.8 million for her three-state recount campaign, but that’s a few million dollars short of what the Stein camp has said it will need to pay for the effort. In other words, it’s not clear if the Stein campaign could have afforded the $1 million bond in Pennsylvania should they have been willing to pay it.


As justification for the move to federal court, Stein campaign lawyer Jonathan Abady insisted that “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.”


Twitter @sheriffali





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