Karl Marx said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” The 2000 presidential election came down to Florida. Trailing George W. Bush by 537 votes, Al Gore pressed for a recount in four cherry-picked counties. He pressed his case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The Supremes stopped the recount.
Fast forward to today. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s share of the vote barely registered in Wisconsin (1.04%), Pennsylvania (0.81%) and Michigan (1.07%). Still, in less than 48 hours, she raised over $4.7 million towards the cost of recounts in the three battleground states.
On Friday, Jill Stein filed a petition for a recount in Wisconsin.
In Pennsylvania, recount petitions are filed by voters not candidates on a precinct-by-precinct basis. In Philadelphia County alone, there are over 1,600 precincts; statewide, there are 9,163 voting precincts. The deadline (November 21) to file the petitions has passed. So a lawsuit is Jill Stein’s only option.
It should be noted that only 17 counties have any form of paper trail. Voters in these counties represent roughly 20% of the total vote in the Keystone State. In vote-rich Philadelphia and Allegheny (Pittsburgh) counties, there are no paper records to recount.
Josh Marshall, editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com, advises caution:
There are countless reasons why people are upset about the results of the 2016 presidential election. The final tallies in the critical states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were extremely close. But we cannot help noticing that Green Presidential candidate Jill Stein's fundraising goals for recounts in these three states keeps rising as she brings in more money. The initial goal was for $2.5 million. That was bumped up to $4.5 million. Now it has been raised again to $7 million.
That’s very fishy.
At best, I think this is basically a publicity stunt for Jill Stein. At worst, well ... the ever-escalating goals speak for themselves. An election campaign really has no limit on how much money it can raise or spend. Recounts are finite. There’s only so much recounting you can do – even when you pile on ‘lawyers fees’ and fees for recount workers.
Hillary Clinton’s supporters have been crying since Election Night.
When the farcical recounts are completed, they may drown in their own tears.