Jill Stein to Take Pennsylvania Recount Fight to Federal Court
After Pennsylvania judge makes "outrageous demand" for $1 million bond, Green Party to file for emergency relief in federal court
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein plans to take her fight for a vote recount in Pennsylvania to federal court, Stein announced late Saturday, after a state judge ordered her campaign post a $1 million bond.
"No voter in America should be forced to pay thousands of dollars to know if her or his vote was counted."
"The bond was set by the Commonwealth court of Pennsylvania a day after representatives of President-elect Donald Trump requested a $10m bond, according to court papers," reports the Guardian. "The court gave the petitioners until 5pm local time on Monday to post the bond, but said it could modify the amount if shown good cause. Instead, Stein's campaign withdrew."
"Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means," wrote attorney Lawrence Otter in a statement to the court. "They cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the court."
The Trump campaign also attempted this week to block the vote recount in Michigan, as Common Dreams reported.
Stein later vowed to escalate the battle to federal court.
"The judge's outrageous demand that voters pay such an exorbitant figure is a shameful, unacceptable barrier to democratic participation. No voter in America should be forced to pay thousands of dollars to know if her or his vote was counted," Stein said in a statement.
The candidate voiced further frustration with the process on Twitter:
How odd is it that we must jump through bureaucratic hoops and raise millions of dollars so we can trust our election results? #Recount2016
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) December 4, 2016
Security experts have expressed support for the Green Party's campaign for a vote recount in the battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where the margin of victory was very slim.
"Trust, but verify," as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Ronald Rivest wrote (pdf) in an affidavit Monday.
Hillary Clinton's campaigned joined the recount effort last week.
The Green Party is adamant that it will not stop its battle for a recount in Pennsylvania, where a recount in some counties is already underway.
"The Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania," Jonathan Abady, lead counsel to Stein's recount efforts, said in a statement, Reuters reports.
"The state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem," the statement continued, "we must seek federal court intervention."