A campaign launched by Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein (pictured left) to recount ballots in 3 key states in the US presidential election has reached its initial funding target of $2.5 million (£2m) in just a matter of hours.
The funds will enable Ms. Stein to file the necessary court motions in each state to review the results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where concerns have been raised about irregularities with electronic voting results.
Each of the states reported a narrow victory for Donald Trump (though the final Michigan count is still to be confirmed), and carry enough electoral college votes between them to change the result of the election if all were redeclared for Hillary Clinton.
A team of computer scientists said they had evidence to show Mrs. Clinton’s vote was 7 percent down on average in Wisconsin counties where electronic voting machines were used.
They speculated that correcting for the error would give the Democratic candidate an additional 30,000 votes. She lost the state as a whole by just 27,000.
But Nate Silver, a pollster on website FiveThirtyEight, has dismissed this as evidence of wrongdoing, suggesting the difference can be accounted for by the demographics of the states in question.
In a post alongside the online fundraiser, Ms. Stein’s team asserted they were raising money “to demand recounts in these three states where the data suggests a significant need to verify machine-counted vote totals.”
Ms. Stein wrote:
“These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified. We deserve elections we can trust.”
Voting rights lawyer John Bonifaz and J Alex Halderman, director of the University of Michigan‘s Centre for Computer Security and Society, two of the authors behind the original blog post raising concerns about voting irregularities, said they had been in touch with the Clinton campaign and had spoken with campaign chair John Podesta to share their findings.
But there was also an understanding for the great deal of pressure placed on Mrs. Clinton to publicly accept the election result, after she lambasted Mr. Trump for not committing to do so during the campaign.
Her team explained that she needed to secure the $2.5 million target before the Friday deadline for requesting a recount in Wisconsin, while Pennsylvania and Michigan have deadlines of Monday, November 28, and Wednesday, November 30 respectively. The funding target has been reset to $4.5 million to raise the necessary funds for Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump in the popular vote continues to grow, surpassing two million votes on Wednesday.