Green Party's Stein drops Pennsylvania presidential recount bid

Connie Tews counts ballots in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Dec 2, 2016, as part of a historic effort is being undertaken, at the request of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, to recount the vote in three key US states where Democratic candidate Hillary Clint
Connie Tews counts ballots in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Dec 2, 2016, as part of a historic effort is being undertaken, at the request of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, to recount the vote in three key US states where Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton expected to win the US Presidential election.PHOTO: AFP
A historic effort is being undertaken in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Dec 2, 2016, at the request of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, to recount the vote in the three key states where Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton expected to win.
A historic effort is being undertaken in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Dec 2, 2016, at the request of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, to recount the vote in the three key states where Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton expected to win. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Green Party candidate Jill Stein abruptly dropped her bid to seek a recount of the presidential election vote in Pennsylvania after a judge ordered her campaign to post a US$1 million (S$1.4 million) bond, a spokesman said on Saturday (Dec 3).

"Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means. They cannot afford to post the US$1,000,000 bond required by the court," an attorney for the Stein campaign wrote in court papers, according to an e-mail from spokesman Sam Scarrow.

"How odd is it that we must jump through bureaucratic hoops and raise millions of dollars so we can trust our election results?" Ms Stein said on Twitter.

The campaign of Republican President-elect Donald Trump had requested a US$10 million bond, court papers showed.

Ms Stein, who garnered only about 1 per cent of the vote, has also sought recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin, saying that she wants to ensure the integrity of the US voting system.

 

Mr Trump, who beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov 8 election, has called the recount effort a "scam".

Mrs Clinton's campaign has said it would take part in the recounts.

Even if all of the recounts were to take place, they are extremely unlikely to change the overall outcome of the election.

The presidential race is decided by the Electoral College, or a tally of wins from the state-by-state contests, rather than by the popular national vote.

Mr Trump surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win, with 306 electoral votes, and the recount would have to flip the result to Mrs Clinton in all three states to change the overall result.

In the popular vote, Mrs Clinton had a margin of more than 2.5 million votes over Mr Trump, the Cook Political Report said.