Green Party Drops Statewide Pennsylvania Recount

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) – Green Party-backed voters dropped a court case Saturday night that had sought to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump, in what Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein had framed as an effort to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated.

UPDATE, DEC. 4: Green Party Will Seek Emergency Federal Court Order Instead

The decision came two days before a court hearing was scheduled in the case. Saturday’s court filing to withdraw the case said the Green Party-backed voters who filed the case “are regular citizens of ordinary means” and cannot afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by 5 p.m. Monday. However, Green Party-backed efforts to force recounts and analyze election software in scattered precincts were continuing.

Stein planned to make an announcement about the Pennsylvania recount Monday outside the Trump Tower in New York.

“The judge’s outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation,” said Stein“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. No voter in America should be forced to pay thousands of dollars to know if her or his vote was counted. Still, the recount continues and we will fight to ensure the civil and voting rights of all citizens are protected. We look forward to announcing our next step on Monday and we will pursue every available remedy to ensure Pennsylvanians can trust what happened in this election.”

The court case had been part of an effort spearheaded by Stein to force recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, three states with a history of backing Democrats for president that were narrowly and unexpectedly won by Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

A recount began Thursday in Wisconsin, while a recount could begin next week in Michigan. Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania was particularly stunning: the state’s fifth-most electoral votes are a key stepping stone to the White House, and no Republican presidential candidate had captured the state since 1988.

Stein had said the purpose of Pennsylvania’s recount was to ensure “our votes are safe and secure,” considering hackers’ probing of election targets in other states and hackers’ accessing of 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.

Stein’s lawyers, however, had offered no evidence of hacking in Pennsylvania’s election. They sought unsuccessfully in recent days to get various counties to allow a forensic examination of their election system software.

Lawyers for Trump and the state Republican Party argued there was no evidence, or even an allegation, that tampering with Pennsylvania’s voting systems had occurred. Further, Pennsylvania law does not allow a court-ordered recount, they argued, and a lawyer for the Green Party had acknowledged that the effort was without precedent in Pennsylvania.

A statement from the Pennsylvania GOP sent Saturday night read, in part:

“The filing of a discontinuance of the Election Contest by Jill Stein’s petitioners tonight is a recognition that their Election Contest was completely without merit, and meant solely for purposes to delay the Electoral College vote in Pennsylvania for President-Elect Trump…Candidate Jill Stein’s allegations created the false allusion that some unidentified foreign government hacked our state’s voting systems when absolutely no such proof existed.  We believe that she always knew that she had no such proof.”

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An updated count Friday by state election officials shows Trump’s lead shrinking to 49,000 from 71,000 over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump’s lead is 0.8 percent, down from over 1 percent, out of 6 million votes cast. That’s shy of Pennsylvania’s 0.5 percent trigger for an automatic statewide recount.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. Ken Keppel says:

    Should never have been allowed to start at all.

  2. Tim Clement says:

    Michigan and Wisconsin should be suspended as well. Ridiculous waste of time and money. Trump won. Trump is President elect. Trump will be inaugurated in January and will be the 45th President of the United States. Leftists need to accept that, live with it and move on. Over!

  3. She raises 7 million and she can’t post a million dollar bond???? What BS. Maybe they figured out there just aren’t enough car trunks in Philly to stuff with enough votes to actally make a difference…..or maybe they found out that when voter fraud is exposed, it always favors democrats

  4. BS .. Sure it shrunk … demand to see the 22,000, just to prove how corrupt the democrats are. 2012 the fraud that has usurped our White House for 8 years stole 59 precincts in Philadelphia alone. Just imagine how many romney votes were stolen across the country.

  5. Steve Mcbee says:

    So instead of a confirmation of Trump’s win, we are left with questions as to why Republicans were so desperate to stop a recount. If you believe the Democrats were up to something, catch them. This was the opportunity. Now we have a President that half the country wonders if he was truly elected.

    1. A recount so the Democrats could “find” more “missing” votes that mysteriously came out of nowhere?

  6. Joe Tharpe says:

    She didn’t drop the recount statewide. Please stop listening to the media. She was pressed with a higher bill and fell 1 million short. So what she is doing is filling recounts on certain precincts in PA that will get the lead down from .8% to .5%. That would bring an automatic statewide recount. Stein is having a press conference on Monday in front of Trump tower to inform everyone of her strategy.

    She is trying to get the count down to .5% so they are forced to do a recount and stall the EC.

  7. Riversong says:

    The PA GOP is thrilled that they election fraud is less likely to be discovered.

    A coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State (now part of the Trump transition team), created a list of 7.2 million “potential” double voters – 1.1 million of which were removed from the voter rolls, overwhelmingly voters of color and the poor.

    The system is called Crosscheck.
    Trump victory margin in Pennsylvania: 46,765
    Pennsylvania Crosscheck purge list: 371,923
    Voters successfully purged: 45,000

    It’s up to highly partisan election officials to decide if your vote counts. Hillary Clinton won only one swing state – Virginia – the only one where the vote count was controlled by Democrats. She lost all the swing states – Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida – where the GOP set the rules for counting ballots.

  8. Ralph Lopez says:

    Why doesn’t this article report that Pennsylvania cannot be recounted because there is nothing to count. No paper ballots, machine are pure electronic.

    “Clinton Election Flip is Impossible Because of Pennsylvania Paperless Vote”

  9. Curt Brown says:

    Did you notice the (certainly intentional) misleading last paragraph about Trump’s lead having shrunk by 22K votes? In an article exclusively about recounts, anyone who didn’t know better would assume that change in votes was due to the recount. But a recount had nothing to do with it, as the reporter here surely knows. That vote total change was due to an already scheduled counting of absentee ballots, not any recount. Why would the reporter here fail to clarify that, in an article about recounts? The only explanation would be to intentionally mislead the reader…

  10. Tom Fuller says:

    Jill Stein was a spoiler, like Ross Perot. She helped Trump get elected by taking votes away from Hillary, and she knows it. Now she wants to atone for her sins. But nothing she does can undo her poor choices. Trump is going to be President!

  11. Stein is a pathological liar. Stein has no problem with the Michigan voters paying as high as 4 million dollars for a recount, but claims the voters in PA. can not afford the 1 million dollar recount bond.

    Stein is nothing but a scammer who never intended to get a recount. Stein just wanted to line her pockets with the donation money. Stein has now collected 6.9 million dollars in donations. As of today Stein has only spent maybe 4.9 million dollars including legal fees which should not exceed $50,000.00 right now. Stein initially claimed she only needed 2.5 million dollars for the recount. When she got that she upped the donation ceiling several times, and is still asking for donations. So as it stands right now there is 2 million dollars in surplus donations. Guess who is going to keep that ? Stein should be investigated for fraud, and charged racketeering.

  12. A recount is a huge waste of taxpayer money since HItlery Rotten conceded, forfeiting the election. Trump won. America defeated fascism once again. Game over. Done. Move on.

  13. I don’t know why Trump supporters are afraid of a recount in any state. It is not unprecedented practice to have votes checked when the results are close. Sadly the legislative components of our federal government seem to have sufficient evidence to suspect outside hacking of voting machines. It is suspect that the states where hacking can occur due to the type of voting machines used all went to Trump.
    Let the recount occur. Hillary won the popular vote. If she also won these additional states and thus the EC, then the American people should have the person they selected sitting in the seat of 45th president. If the recount finds no fraud, then we’ve got The Donald and Pence (aka Tweeter-dee and Tweeter-dum) for as long as they can hold onto their positions. Bets are that neither will be there in 2020.

    1. It’s very simple. There is no evidence of any type voter fraud, hacking, or malware. The law states very clearly there must be EVIDENCE of voter fraud, hacking, or malware. Stein, and Clinton, admit there is no evidence. So why should taxpayer money be wasted on some stupid, unverified, conspiracy claim based on pure speculation.

      You Clinton supporters lost. Time to move on.

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