Recounts of the presidential votes cast in Wisconsin and two other states should raise questions about whether Americans can trust the voting system in the U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who requested the recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, says those efforts have shown that there are still many issues with voting and the ability of regular citizens to make sure ballots have been counted properly.
Wisconsin finished its recount on Monday, a day ahead of schedule, while legal battles halted efforts to conduct recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Stein said her effort to verify votes cast in states narrowly won by Republican President-elect Donald Trump were “stopped by political cronyism, by bureaucratic hurdles and unbelievable administrative hoops that we had to jump through…by financial extortion and legal maneuvering.”
Wisconsin’s completed recount did find several hundred votes that were miscounted or missed the first time around. After it was completed though, Trump added just 131 votes to his margin of victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, winning the state by about 23,000 votes.
Stein’s campaign paid for the recount by providing $3.5 million up front, while county clerks have estimated the cost could be as high as $3.9 million. County clerks have to report their costs to the state by the end of this month. Stein questioned the cost on Tuesday, and argued it should be easier for voters to make sure their ballots were counted properly. “Ordinary people shouldn’t have to go out and hold a bake sale on steroids and raise millions of dollars in order to have our vote verified,” she said.
Stein raised over $7.3 million from donations to help fund the recount effort. If any money is left over, she plans to use an online survey to ask donors how it should be spent.