Prior to the Thanksgiving Day holiday, failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein launched a fundraising effort to raise the millions needed to pay for a recount of election results in three of the key states that gave Donald Trump the White House, but the source of these millions of dollars is murky.
Just before the noon deadline on November 25, Stein filed an official petition for a recount in Wisconsin, one of at least three key states that gave Donald Trump a surprise win on Election Day, NBC reported on Friday.
The Commission has received the Stein and Del La Fuente recount petitions. Details and news release posted soon at https://t.co/N3TrlOIqE1.
— Wisconsin Elections (@WI_Elections) November 25, 2016
Stein posted the fundraising message to the Internet after news broke that Clinton campaign chief John Podesta was meeting with supposed election experts who felt there may be evidence that election systems were hacked in the states that gave Trump the victory.
The forlorn wish that Hillary didn’t “really” lose gave hope to a growing list of bitter Hollywood celebrities desperate to find some ray of sunshine to cling to after the drubbing Hillary received in Electoral College votes on November 8.
And as Hollywoodites reveled in the idea, Green Party nominee Jill Stein launched her fundraising effort to try to delegitimize Trump’s win and to raise the millions necessary to pay for recounts in at least three states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The leading proponent of the theory that there was something amiss in the election returns is J. Alex Halderman, director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, who insisted that “unprecedented cyberattacks” might have altered electronic election results.
Even as he has no evidence at all that any hacking occurred, Halderman insists that “The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence” by recounting paper ballots.
Aside from the wishful thinking of Hollywood elites and other Hillary fans, Halderman seems to have few supporters in his claim that any hacking occurred. Tech site Cnet.com, for instance, told its readers there “there’s little chance the election was hacked.” And Phillip Bump of The Washington Post reported that there is little chance that anything untoward occurred in the election and that Stein was likely on a “wild goose hunt.”
Finally, the left’s favorite numbers site, FiveThirtyEight.com, insisted that demographics, not hacking gave Trump the win.
But there are other worries over Stein’s sudden raising of the millions of dollars needed to pay for recounts.
Stein launched her effort to raise this money the day before Thanksgiving by asking supporters to help her raise up to $3 million to force a recount in Wisconsin, the state with the closest deadline to the date when she launched her fundraising effort. Shockingly in only a day Stein had raised that three million. And on a holiday at that.
After her initial goal was met, Stein raised the stakes several times and even more millions rolled in. And all still over the Thanksgiving holiday. She is now claiming she needs seven million to fund recounts in all three states, an amount almost three times higher than her initial goal.
Critics wonder where all this money is coming from. How do we know if this money didn’t come from foreign sources? Further, what reporting requirements will Stein be forced to satisfy to prove the source of the cash? And if much of this is foreign money, how does that square with claims by Green Party supporters and Democrats that foreign money and foreign hackers were influencing our election process? If these people are worried about foreign influence, isn’t it exactly the same if foreign money is fueling the recounts?
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.