Greens tak­ing bid for re­count to fed­eral court

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY MARC LEVY

HARRISBURG, PA. | Green Party pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jill Stein is tak­ing her bid for a statewide re­count of Penn­syl­va­nia’s Nov. 8 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to fed­eral court.

Af­ter an­nounc­ing Ms. Stein and re­count sup­port­ers were drop­ping their case in state court, lawyer Jonathan Abady said they will seek an emer­gency fed­eral court or­der Mon­day.

“Make no mis­take — the Stein cam­paign will con­tinue to fight for a statewide re­count in Penn­syl­va­nia,” Mr. Abady said in a state­ment Satur­day night. “We are com­mit­ted to this fight to pro­tect the civil and vot­ing rights of all Amer­i­cans.”

He said bar­ri­ers to a re­count in Penn­syl­va­nia are per­va­sive and the state court sys­tem is ill-equipped to ad­dress the prob­lem.

Ms. Stein has spear­headed a re­count ef­fort in Penn­syl­va­nia, Michi­gan and Wis­con­sin, three states with a his­tory of back­ing Democrats for pres­i­dent that were nar­rowly and un­ex­pect­edly won by Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump over Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Ms. Stein has framed the cam­paign as an ef­fort to ex­plore whether vot­ing ma­chines and sys­tems had been hacked and the elec­tion re­sult ma­nip­u­lated. Ms. Stein’s lawyers, how­ever, have of­fered no ev­i­dence of hack­ing in Penn­syl­va­nia’s elec­tion, and the state Repub­li­can Party and Mr. Trump had asked the court to dis­miss the state court case.

The re­count-cam­paign de­ci­sion came two days be­fore a state court hear­ing was sched­uled in the case. Satur­day’s court fil­ing to with­draw the case said the Green Party-backed vot­ers who filed it “are reg­u­lar cit­i­zens of or­di­nary means” and can­not af­ford the $1 mil­lion bond or­dered by the court by 5 p.m. Mon­day.

Mean­while, Green Party-backed ef­forts to force re­counts and an­a­lyze elec­tion soft­ware in scat­tered precincts were con­tin­u­ing.

A re­count be­gan Thurs­day in Wis­con­sin, while a re­count could be­gin this week in Michi­gan.

Mr. Trump’s vic­tory in Penn­syl­va­nia was par­tic­u­larly stun­ning: the state’s fifth-most elec­toral votes are a key step­ping­stone to the White House, and no Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date had cap­tured the state since 1988.

In seek­ing the re­count, Ms. Stein has noted hack­ers’ prob­ing of elec­tion tar­gets in other states and hack­ers’ ac­cess­ing the emails of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee and sev­eral Clin­ton staffers. U.S. se­cu­rity of­fi­cials have said they be­lieve Rus­sian hack­ers or­ches­trated the email hacks, some­thing Rus­sia has de­nied.

Lawyers for Mr. Trump and the Penn­syl­va­nia Repub­li­can Party ar­gued there was no ev­i­dence, or even an al­le­ga­tion, that tam­per­ing with the state’s vot­ing sys­tems had oc­curred.

Fur­ther, Penn­syl­va­nia law does not al­low a cour­tordered re­count, they said.

The state case also had threat­ened Penn­syl­va­nia’s abil­ity to cer­tify its pres­i­den­tial elec­tors by the Dec. 13 fed­eral dead­line, Repub­li­can lawyers ar­gued.

GOP lawyer Lawrence Tabas said Satur­day the case had been meant “solely for pur­poses to de­lay the Elec­toral Col­lege vote in Penn­syl­va­nia for Pres­i­dent-Elect Trump.”

The state’s top elec­tions of­fi­cial, Sec­re­tary of State Pedro Cortes, a Demo­crat, has said there was no ev­i­dence of any cy­ber­at­tacks or ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the elec­tion. And any re­count would change few votes, Mr. Cortes pre­dicted.


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