On the back of a debunked fear of election tampering in key swing states, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has raised nearly $5 million to fund a recount effort.
Stein first set a goal to raise $2.5 million to fund a recount in in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania based off a report from New York Magazine that said prominent cybersecurity experts were urging Hillary Clinton’s campaign to contest the results there, citing suspicious results.
Since that New York Magazine story on Tuesday, one of the cybersecurity experts clarified that he did not have evidence suggesting that the election had been hacked, while election gurus like the New York Times Upshot’s Nate Cohn and FiveThirtyEight explainedwhy it was unlikely that there was evidence showing a hack.
As of early Friday morning, Stein had raised just over $4.7 million dollars to a newly updated goal of $7.0 million, according to a tracker on her campaign website.
Her campaign also changed how much they estimated attorney fees could cost. In an initial cached version of the fundraising page, they do not mention attorney fees in the fundraising pitch. A cached version of the page from early Thursday morning then estimates that attorney fees will “likely to be another $1 million,” while her page had set a goal of $4.5 million mid-day Thursday.
As of noon on Thursday, the fundraising page now estimates that attorney fees “are likely to be another $2-3 million, then there are the costs of the statewide recount observers in all three states,” raising the total cost to “$6-7 million.”
The page also notes that “we cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states” and that “if we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.”
According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Stein raised just $3,509,477 during the 2016 cycle, through the most recent FEC report on October 19, 2016. The next FEC filing is due on December 8.