Looks like Jill Stein took her recount money and went home, laughing.
Green Party-backed voters dropped a court case Saturday night that had sought to force a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election, won by Republican Donald Trump, in what Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein had framed as an effort to explore whether voting machines and systems had been hacked and the election result manipulated.
The decision came two days before a court hearing was scheduled in the case. Saturday’s court filing to withdraw the case said the Green Party-backed voters who filed the case “are regular citizens of ordinary means” and cannot afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by 5 p.m. Monday. However, Green Party-backed efforts to force recounts and analyze election software in scattered precincts were continuing.
Stein planned to make an announcement about the Pennsylvania recount Monday outside the Trump Tower in New York.
The court case had been part of an effort spearheaded by Stein to force recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, three states with a history of backing Democrats for president that were narrowly and unexpectedly won by Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
A recount began Thursday in Wisconsin, while a recount could begin next week in Michigan. Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania was particularly stunning: the state’s fifth-most electoral votes are a key stepping stone to the White House, and no Republican presidential candidate had captured the state since 1988.
So unless a miracle actually finds malfeasance in Wisconsin and Michigan quickly enough to force a recount in Pennsylvania, it's over. And even then it will be far too late.
Most — including Hillary Clinton’s campaign — expected Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount efforts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin not to change the result in any of those states. The reality, however, was that the election results would not have changed unless the recounts shifted the states to Clinton in all of those states.
With Pennsylvania off the table, even a flip in the Michigan and Wisconsin results would still leave Trump at 280 electoral votes — 10 above the 270 necessary to become the next president.
Lawyers for the Green Party told the Associated Press that they would not be able to meet the Monday deadline for a $1 million bond that the Pennsylvania court had ordered in the case. Additionally, on Dec. 2, the court had issued an ordersuggesting skepticism as to whether the Green Party’s complaint seeking a statewide recount would succeed. That order came in the wake of the Trump campaign’s motion to dismiss the complaint.
On Saturday, the Green Party filed a motion to withdraw their statewide recount request — which the court granted in an order later Saturday — although individual precinct-based recount requests will continue, in an attempt to force an automatic statewide recount, and a lawyer familiar with ongoing efforts noted that an appeal seeking a forensic audit of the Philadelphia voting machines remains pending.
The Trump ear is inevitable, and at this point we must find a way to resist, as I said earlier today.