Though her effort has virtually no chance of changing the outcome of the presidential election, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein continued Monday her recount in three battleground states won by Donald Trump, suing Pennsylvania election officials in federal court hours after a federal judge in Michigan granted her request to begin a statewide recount without delay.
Official figures show Trump defeated Clinton by 10,704 votes in Michigan, 68,236 in Pennsylvania and 27,257 in Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, four days of recounting only has added to Trump’s margin of victory, with the president-elect netting 39 votes as of Sunday night, the Washington Free Beacon reported, citing a spreadsheet of votes on the Wisconsin Election Commission’s website. More than 1 million of the nearly 3 million votes cast in the state have been recounted.
Donald Trump, who has 306 Electoral College votes to Clinton’s 232, tweeted Sunday that Stein’s effort is merely a “scam to raise money.”
Stein, who won just 1 percent of the nationwide vote, shot back Monday at a news conference across the street from Trump Tower in Manhattan, insisting every dollar raised – her website says $7.2 million so far – goes toward “election integrity.”
“We urge Donald Trump to look at the facts, not to make up the facts,” Stein said.
“We are here to assure Donald Trump that there is nothing to be afraid of,” she continued. “If you believe in democracy, if you believe in the credibility of your victory, put down your arms, end your bureaucratic obstruction.”
Limbaugh: Left ‘flailing away’
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said Monday that Stein’s effort, which is being supported by the Clinton campaign, is really about trying to “delegitimize the election and delegitimize the Trump administration.”
“And it’s Hillary keeping her options open for 2020,” he said.
“Mostly it’s the left flailing away as a bunch of spoiled brats unable to accept rejection,” said Limbaugh.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin alleged in a complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission that the recount effort is a front for Clinton’s campaign, LawNewz.com reported
In Pennsylvania, Stein decided to file the federal lawsuit after her initial effort in state court failed when a judge asked her campaign to post a $1 million bond.
Last Wednesday, a Montgomery County Court rejected Stein’s petition to recanvass votes in 72 of the county’s 425 precincts.
Two top Pennsylvania Democrats, former Gov. Ed Rendell and Sen. Bob Casey, have called the recount effort a waste of resources.
In an editorial last week titled “Jill Stein’s vanity project,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the recounts “are a colossal waste of money and energy when there is not a shred of credible evidence of fraud or error and when the final vote in these three states likely will not change very much.”
Meanwhile, another third-party presidential candidate, Roque De La Fuenta, announced he plans to sue the Florida secretary of state and the Broward County Supervisor of Elections for election fraud Monday, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
De La Fuente cites a sworn letter from a Broward County election volunteer that reveals election officials filled in blank absentee ballots in a locked room. His suit charges officials are not monitoring for potential voter fraud unless the election is close.
De La Fuente also is pressing for recounts in Nevada and Wisconsin.
“Hillary (Clinton) won Nevada by a narrow margin almost identical to that of President-elect Trump’s in Wisconsin,” he said. “Why not audit Nevada’s results as well?”
He noted that Stein didn’t qualify for the ballot in Nevada, which means she can’t petition for a recount in the state.
At her press conference in New York City, Stein insisted she “absolutely” would be calling for the recounts in three key states won by President-elect Trump even if Clinton had won them instead of Trump, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Throughout the election, I was asked if there were questions about the vote, and a recount was indicated, would I step up to the plate and I always said yes, I will do that regardless of who the victor is if there are questions about the process,” she said.
While Stein can provide no evidence of vote fraud, she contends there are “indicators” that people look for “when they’re raising the question, ‘Was there compromise in this election?’ or ‘Was there machine error?'”
In Michigan, for example, Stein says the number of ballots with no vote for president were a “red flag” to her. She told the Detroit Free Press it may indicate machine error or, in some cases, tampering.
But the newspaper noted both Trump and Clinton had high unfavorable numbers, and write-in votes were counted only for seven people who registered with the state by mid-September.
Early Monday morning, a federal judge ordered Michigan’s presidential ballots to begin at noon on Monday and be completed by a Dec. 13 federal deadline.
Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, said in a statement released Monday that she is “outraged that Jill Stein is trying to use the courts to change the outcome of the Michigan election” after “all votes were counted and certified by the Board of Canvassers.”
She said, according to USA Today, “this recount is an incredible waste of Michigan taxpayers’ money,” and “we will vigorously pursue any and all options available to us to overturn this ruling and to end this recount.”