Jill Stein’s Hillary Clinton’s effort to recount presidential votes in three swing states already appears to be sputtering in Philadelphia.
While Stein, a former presidential candidate, has raised millions of dollars and filed for a recount in Wisconsin, the process in Pennsylvania is much more complicated. Candidates cannot file for a recount themselves. Instead, they either have to go to court and attempt to prove widespread voter fraud (there’s no evidence of that at this point) or organize a voter-initiated recount effort.
Stein’s team is going for the latter, asking for thousands of volunteers across Pennsylvania to mobilize. For a voting division — also known as a precinct — to be recounted, three voters from that division must sign and file an affidavit.
As of noon Monday, the Philadelphia city Board of Elections had received petitions for 35 of the 1,686 voting divisions in Philadelphia, according to City Commissioner Al Schmidt. He’s spoken with organizers who expect another 15 to be filed. That means that only about 50 of the 1,686 voting divisions in Philadelphia, or about 3 percent, would be recounted as a part of Stein’s effort.
Stein needed more than 5,000 people in Philadelphia alone to sign petitions to file for a recount and would have had to mobilize about 30,000 people statewide to get a full recount going in Pennsylvania. She contends that though her campaign is targeting recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, it is not coordinating with the campaign of Hillary Clinton, who lost all three of those states to President-elect Donald Trump. The Green Party candidate has so far raised nearly $7 million to spearhead the recount.
Wanda Murren, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, said in a statement Monday afternoon that the state is “working to gather information from the 67 counties regarding their progress in certifying election returns.” She said some counties have already certified their elections, therefore closing the five-day window to petition at the county level for a recount.
The deadline for voters to file for a recount is the end of the day today.