WASHINGTON — Green Party nominee Jill Stein launched a bid Wednesday to seek a recount in three Rust Belt states as pressure builds among liberals to challenge election results.
The Stein campaign said it needs to raise $2 million by Friday to pay for recounts.
“Over the last 48-72 hours, reports have come in from experts, cyberexperts, who are reporting to us some very troubling news about the possibility of security breaches in voting results across this country,” Stein campaign manager David Cobb said in a video posted to her Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.
Stein and others are seeking an audit and recount of the voting results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, following reports that voting security experts alerted Hillary Clinton’s campaign to the possibility of hacks in key counties in those states.
Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has continued to grow — it’s now close to 2 million more votes than Donald Trump — and pressure has been mounting among liberals for an investigation into what happened on Election Day.
Filmmaker Joss Whedon tweeted late Tuesday, “Demand an audit. Make the call,” with a picture of Clinton reading “She Won.”
It’s an ironic twist from just a month ago, when Trump was cautioning that the election results would be “rigged” and that he may not accept the outcome.
Stein launched her effort after computer scientists reportedly told Clinton campaign officials that the election may have indeed been rigged — in Trump’s favor.
The group of voting scientists — including University of Michigan’s J. Alex Halderman and voting rights activist John Bonifaz — alerted the campaign that Clinton’s tallies fell 7% shy of expectations in counties that used electronic voting machines.
Clinton fell about 27,000 votes shy of Trump in Wisconsin and 60,000 in Pennsylvania — razor thin margins in both states. Votes are still being tallied in Michigan, which CNN has not called for either candidate yet.
The Clinton campaign has yet to return requests for comment on the reports. And Halderman did not return a request for comment Wednesday and his voicemail was full when a reporter attempted to contact him.
“A realistic attack on the election is probably going to be honing in on whichever state ends up having the closest margin,” Halderman said in an interview on C-SPAN one month before the election.
Halderman is well-known in election security circles and gained some fame after he and his students at the University of Michigan successfully hacked Washington, D.C.’s Board of Elections in 2010 during a trial run of its online voting system.
People who voted using the system were greeted with the University of Michigan’s fight song — placed there by Halderman’s students. The D.C. city countil quickly scrapped plans for the system after that.