On Wednesday, the Stein campaign announced that it had begun raising funds for the three state recount in what it said was a "multi-partisan effort to check the accuracy of the machine-counted vote tallies in these states in order to ensure the integrity of our elections."
Stein's online campaign has spread like wildfire, and has already raised well over the $2.2 million formally needed to file for a recount in the three key states ahead of deadlines on November 25, 28 and 30. Other costs associated with the recount, including attorney's fees and statewide recount observers are expected to run anywhere from $6-7 million. Accordingly, Stein's campaign is asking for at least $4.5 million, having already raised $3.7 million as of 2 pm EST.
That figure officially surpasses the $3.509 million the Green Party candidate raised during her presidential run. Stein received 1.39 million votes, or just over 1% of the popular vote, in the election held earlier this month.
Speaking to Brad Friedman, host of Radio Sputnik's Bradcast, Stein offered details about what it was she was trying to accomplish with her initiative.
Simply put, she said that the recount effort is meant to assure voters that their votes were accounted for and counted accurately. "We have to move really fast in order to basically verify the vote and be confident our votes were actually counted, that they weren't flipped or stripped and that we have a system of elections we can believe in," the candidate explained.
"I'm responding to a [group] of people…observers and advocates, both experts and just ordinary citizens, who feel like this is unacceptable and that these machines as a baseline is not the way we should be voting."
"Then there are allegations of voting irregularities that I cannot testify to myself – as I understand these are rather debatable grey zones at this point. But I think there is plenty of evidence to say that we deserve confidence in our voting system," she added.
"This is something we shouldn't have to ask a recount for. We shouldn't have to spend a million dollars in Wisconsin alone in order to be confident of our vote. The tragedy is that this is not built into our voting system – that 25% of Americans vote on these electronic machines that have no paper record whatsoever. This is really a mockery of democracy – one of many incredible vulnerabilities of our democracy and our elections."
Stein noted that "it feels really good to be standing up right now and to be surrounded by so many people who say that it's time for us to take control of our democracy, to use the resources that we have right now to stand up – to give ourselves a gift on this Thanksgiving and have something to be thankful for…"
The Green Party plans to hold a conference in Washington, DC in February devoted to the 2016 election, including the concepts and issues of verified voting, rank choice voting, the Electoral College and opening up the debates to more independent candidates.