Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Jill Stein Campaign Plans To Take Pennsylvania Recount Effort To Federal Court

Jill Stein, at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in August.
Win McNamee Getty Images
Jill Stein, at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in August.

The Jill Stein campaign plans to bring her fight for a statewide ballot recount in Pennsylvania to federal court.

Jonathan Abady, lead counsel to Stein's recount efforts, said in a statement late Saturday that starting Monday, the campaign will "file for emergency relief in federal court, demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds."

"It has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention," Abady said.

Just hours earlier, Lawrence M. Otter, a lawyer for the former Green Party presidential candidate, had withdrawn the lawsuit filed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania early Saturday evening.

"Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means," the filing states. "They cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the Court."

Stein elaborated on Twitter, asking: "How odd is it that we must jump through bureaucratic hoops and raise millions of dollars so we can trust our election results?"

In addition, the Stein campaign will pursue the county-by-county recount effort in Pennsylvania, Stein's lawyer, Lawrence Otter, tells The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"That requires efforts in individual precincts — a process that requires three voters to petition their local election boards.

"In the region, a recount in Philadelphia is already underway in 75 of the city's more than 1,600 divisions. Judges in Bucks and Delaware counties will hear arguments this week on whether to grant recounts, Otter said."

Last month, Stein launched a fundraising campaign to pursue a recount in Pennsylvania, as well as in Michigan and Wisconsin — three states President-elect Donald Trump narrowly won en route to his Electoral College victory. That campaign — which sought to "ensure the integrity of our elections," according to her website — proved wildly successful, raking in nearly $7 million in donations to fund the former candidate's efforts.

Stein subsequently filed her request for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania on Monday, just days after she officially requested a recount in Wisconsin. In Michigan, where Trump was certified the winner only last week, the situation proved to be a bit more complicated: Stein requested a recount there — only to have her request tangled by an objection from the Trump campaign. After the state's Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on the issue Friday, the Detroit Free Press reports a hand recount in Michigan appears set to proceed next week.

Hillary Clinton's campaign reluctantly said it would participate in the proceedings, "to ensure our campaign is legally represented," according to campaign lawyer Marc Erik Elias.

At this time, there is no indication that Stein's campaign plans to drop its efforts in Wisconsin — where The Associated Press reports a recount is already underway — or in Michigan.

Stein plans to hold a rally and press conference Monday outside Trump Tower in New York City.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.