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Election Integrity depends on YOU!

#Recount2016: A Historic Fight for Voting Justice!!

Friends,

An epic battle has been underway for a voting system we can trust - that is accurate, secure and just.

Thanks to over 161,000 small donors and offers of support from over 10,000 volunteers, #Recount2016 pushed forward in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania - defying political blockades, bureaucratic hurdles, and financial intimidation.

With small donations from folks like you, we have already raised an incredible $7.3 million dollars for this extraordinary effort. Click here for a breakdown of our current budget.

But legal fees are still coming in, and we need to have enough firepower to prevail.

We have been fighting multiple legal battles against Trump and his cronies in all three states:

  • In PENNSYLVANIAthere was a packed hearing in Philadelphia on Friday, December 9th . We expect to hear from the Judge on Monday, December 12th. Our legal team presented testimony from a computer science expert who described how these machines are vulnerable to interference. We outlined how a team of experts could conduct a rapid forensic analysis of a sample of election management systems in the state to determine, in two days, whether there were signs of outside tampering, malware, or other interference. 
  • Our legal team continues to press our arguments about Montgomery County to the Commonwealth Court; even though the schedule set by the court will put us past the electoral college deadline, we think it's important to continue that push. Unfortunately, every judge so far has denied our requests for forensic analyses of the electronic machines, including this past week in Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties where the "recount" was little more than a press of a button.
  • Organizers in Chester County successfully petitioned for a recount of 190,000 paper ballots in nearly half the precincts in the county. State law required that at least three voters in every precinct submit an affidavit calling for a recount and we are thrilled that we were able to offer legal and staff support to that effort. Special thanks to the dozens of volunteers who showed up to observe that recount, which started Thursday afternoon and concluded Saturday, December 9th.

  • In WISCONSIN, we fought for a hand count of paper ballots throughout the state - what a judge called the “gold standard” for verifying the vote - after Republican Governor Scott Walker’s henchmen on the Board of Elections tripled the cost of the recount, charging $2.4 million over the original estimate of $1.1 million (based on the last statewide recount) for a whopping $3.5 million fee. Thank you to the hundreds of staff and volunteers who observed the recount! Please read reports submitted by Wisconsin Recount observers for more information about how the process unfolded. 

    Read the latest updates on the Wisconsin Recount from the Wisconsin Election Commission.

We have great victories to build on in this David-and-Goliath battle for the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans. But the costs - for state filing fees, legal fees, operations, staff, and to keep the public informed - were constantly being revised, as Trump and his allies wage “lawfare” against our fight for democracy.

This recount is not just about counting the votes. We have been fighting Trump and the Michigan GOP in a battle that goes to the very heart of the struggle for voting rights in communities of color. Donate now to stand up for election justice and integrity.

The attention brought by the recount campaign in Michigan is already raising red flags for the widespread disenfranchisement of voters of color in what amounts to a modern Jim Crow-type election system.

At stake are over 75,000 “undervotes” - ballots that are filled out except the vote for President - many of which are concentrated in communities of color in the Detroit area.

This unprecedented number of blank ballots may actually represent errors in the optical scanners that count the votes. According to a U.S. Civil Rights Commission report, voters of color are 900% more likely to have their votes misread or simply tossed out by human error or by badly maintained and poorly calibrated machines in underserved communities.

The malfunction of 87 decade-old optical scanner machines in Detroit on Election Day is an example of this Jim Crow-type injustice. These machine errors that lead to voter suppression are commonplace in underserved communities of color. But they can only be identified if we recount all the votes!

Trump and his pal Bill Schuette are doing everything in their power to prevent the recount from going forward, and examining the potential voter suppression.

If you want to help protect the right to vote for communities of color—and build the case for a stronger democracy, please pitch in to keep this fight going!

We must not back down from this fight. Donald Trump - and the entrenched, corrupt political establishment that backs him - is hell-bent on shutting down our fight for voting justice, making it as complicated and expensive as possible by using every legal trick in the book to try to stop us.  

The recount is a critical first step towards real democracy. We must also end voter suppression through voter ID laws and Interstate Crosscheck. We must have open debates to fully inform and empower voters. We must liberate our votes from fear through Ranked Choice Voting, which allows you to rank your choices and if your first choice loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice. We must abolish the Electoral College and move to a national popular vote.

With your help we can seize this historic moment to create a voting system we can trust, starting with counting every vote and making every vote count.

Sources:

  1. “Federal Court Ruling Protects Jill Stein’s Michigan Recount, Despite State Decision,” Huffington Post, December 6, 2016 

  2. “Judge Orders Michigan Presidential Recount to Begin at Noon Monday,” Detroit News, December 5, 2016 

  3. “Huge Federal Court Victory in MI - Recount Goes Forward,” Stein Campaign Press Release, December 6, 2016 

  4. “Explaining the Michigan Recount of Vote,” Oakland Press, December 1, 2016 

  5. “Ethnic Votes Stolen in Crucial States Help Fix US Election for Trump,” Greg Palast, November 16, 2016 

  6. “Broken Machines Could Throw Michigan Recount Into Chaos,” The Guardian, December 6, 2016 

  7. “In Michigan: Trump, GOP Politicians Launch Full-Scale Attack to Obstruct Voters’ Civil, Constitutional Rights,” Stein Campaign Press Release, December 6, 2016

  8. “Stein/Baraka Condemn Interstate Crosscheck And Other Voter Suppression Schemes,” Stein/Baraka Campaign Press Release, October 3, 2016

Details You Need to Know 

In 2004, the Cobb/LaMarche campaign demanded a recount in Ohio. Because of their efforts, an election administrator went to jail. We also exposed the profound problems with DRE machines, which helped launch an election integrity movement. That provoked California to engage in a "top to bottom" review of their voting system, which culminated in the abolition of DRE machines.
Also in 2004, the Cobb campaign filed for a recount in New Mexico. The recount was illegally denied  by the state canvassing board but democracy advocates did not give up, and through a combination of litigation and legislation succeeded in implementing new voting systems throughout the state. New Mexico is now the only state whose post-election audit is given an excellent rating by the Verified Voting Foundation. New Mexico now uses all paper ballots, has statistically meaningful audits of voting machines, and has automatic, state-funded recounts in all state and federal elections.

The Green Party Platform calls for "publicly-owned, open source voting equipment and deploy it across the nation to ensure high national standards, performance, transparency and accountability; use verifiable paper ballots; and institute mandatory automatic random precinct recounts to ensure a high level of accuracy in election results."

Election integrity experts independently identified Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as states where "statistical anomalies" raised concerns. Our effort to recount votes in those states is not intended to help Hillary Clinton.

These recounts are part of an election integrity movement to attempt to shine a light on just how untrustworthy the U.S. election system is.

If we raise more than what's needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform. This is what we did with our surplus in 2004.

SPENDING CATEGORY and COST PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL

State filing fees: $4,488,93960%

  • Wisconsin:$3,499,689
  • Michigan:$973,250
  • Pennsylvania:$16,000*

Legal expenses for recount: $1,630,20022%

Legal expenses for ongoing litigation: $150,0002%

Payments to recount observers & volunteer costs: $86,2141%

Staff payroll: $212,5003%

Consultants: $364,0005%
(E.g. election experts, communications support)

Administrative expenses: $353,6185%
(E.g. office and travel costs and donation processing fees)

Compliance costs: $150,0002%

*We have been supporting a voter-initiated recount in PA, in election districts where at least three voters in each precinct file affidavits with their County Board of Elections within the specified time frame. 

**Since the courts halted the recount, it is possible we may get a refund. We have not heard final decision from the State.

Find answers to frequently asked questions.

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