Campaign for a presidential election recount raises $2.2m in just HOURS: Jill Stein vows to challenge Trump’s victory in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania after computer scientists’ ‘hacking’ claims 

A left-leaning campaign demanding a recount of the presidential election has raised more than $2.2million in a matter of hours.

Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein raised the money for recounts in Wisconsin, Illinois and Pennsylvania after experts said it was possible that hackers had artificially lowered Hillary Clinton’s counts there.

If all three states were overturned – however unlikely that outcome may be – it would theoretically hand the White House to Clinton. 

Stein started the fund-raiser on her website on Wednesday, saying that she needed to raise $2million by Friday – but broke that amount the same day.

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Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein asked for $2million to demand recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan on Wednesday. She raised $2.2million in just hours

Her website says that they are not trying to aid Hillary Clinton, just ensure a legal vote, after experts said polls could have been hacked. But if Clinton wins a recount she will be President

Her website says that they are not trying to aid Hillary Clinton, just ensure a legal vote, after experts said polls could have been hacked. But if Clinton wins a recount she will be President

Stein promised to use the money – which was initially set at $2million, but raised to $2.5million as donations poured in – to pay for recounts in the three states.

She cited the Green Party’s successful 2004 demand for an Ohio recount – which ended in two election officials being convicted of rigging the count – as proof of concept.

On her website, Stein positioned the fundraiser as ‘an effort to ensure the integrity of our elections’ after 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,’ she said.

The recount may indeed help Clinton, however – if, as experts suggest could be the case, she has been the victim of a cyber-attack on electronic polling stations. 

The move theoretically puts Clinton back in play for the Presidency – but the odds are still against her, and the White House reportedly wants to get on with transitioning to Trump

According to New York magazine, the group – which includes computer security and voting law experts – says Clinton performed 7 per cent worse in those Wisconsin counties in which voters input their choice directly into electronic voting machines.

In the other counties, where Clinton did better, voters have a paper ballot that is counted using an optical scanner or (in small numbers, to ensure accuracy) by hand.

That, they say, suggests the electronic voting machines could have been hacked to filter out Clinton votes – something that can’t be done when scanning paper ballots.

Their calculations say that proposed hack could have robbed Clinton of 30,000 votes in the state. She lost Wisconsin to Trump by 27,000.

The experts reached out to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in a conference call on November 17 to try to get Clinton to call for a recount. But Stein could do it herself

The experts reached out to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in a conference call on November 17 to try to get Clinton to call for a recount. But Stein could do it herself

They believe that Pennsylvania and Michigan are two other key states that could theoretically have been affected. If Clinton claimed all three in a recount, she would win the Electoral College. 

The scientists don’t have direct evidence of a hack, they say – if it exists, it would only come if Clinton demands an investigation and recount – but DNC emails were plundered by hackers in the run-up to the election.

Clinton campaign chair John Podesta also had his email account hacked and its contents leaked. 

And in August, both Illinois and Arizona election records were breached in a cyber-attack, according to the FBI and state agencies.

No suspects have been named in this potential voting hack, but Russia was fingered as a culprit in all of the attacks by US officials. 

The computer experts used a statistical analysis to conclude Clinton did worse in states with electronic voting machines - which they argue could have left the door open to hacking

The computer experts used a statistical analysis to conclude Clinton did worse in states with electronic voting machines – which they argue could have left the door open to hacking

The experts include J Alex Halderman, director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society.

In an article for Medium, Halderman admits that Clinton’s shock defeats in the states – which went against polling predictions – were ‘probably’ the fault of the polls being ‘systematically wrong’ rather than hacked.

But, he said, neither explanation was ‘overwhelmingly more likely than the other,’ and so it was imperative for ‘physical evidence’ to be examined.  

On November 17, his group contacted Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and general counsel Marc Elias to present them with their findings and push for a recount and investigation, according to New York magazine.

But the White House is reportedly leaning on Clinton not to demand the recount, as it wants to focus on smoothing the transition from the Obama administration to Trump’s new Cabinet.

However, if Stein gets her way, neither Clinton nor the White House will have a choice.

Podesta's emails were hacked during the election campaign, as were DNC emails and voter data in Arizona and Illinois. US officials pointed to Russia as a culprit in all three cases

Podesta’s emails were hacked during the election campaign, as were DNC emails and voter data in Arizona and Illinois. US officials pointed to Russia as a culprit in all three cases

Clinton already conceded to Trump and gave a farewell speech. She faces a recount deadline of just days in the three states, even if a challenge is mounted

Clinton already conceded to Trump and gave a farewell speech. She faces a recount deadline of just days in the three states, even if a challenge is mounted

And Clinton’s success in the popular vote may prove more of an impetus to push out the boat anyway.

On Wednesday, as Stein’s takings rocketed, it was announced that her lead over Trump had increased to more than 2million, and was expected to keep rising.

David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Report tweeted the result Wednesday, as her lead increased to 1.5 per cent of the vote. 

According to the Cook Report, Clinton’s ballot count is now at 64,225,863 -compared with Trump’s 62,210,612.

There are still millions more votes to be counted, and it’s believed that most of those will be for Clinton.

If Stein or Clinton want to push for the recounts, they’ll need to move fast, however.

If they want to file a recount in Wisconsin, the deadline is Friday. In Pennsylvania they have until Monday. And in Michigan the cut-off is November 30.

Experts would also have to examine the voting machines to see if there was evidence of hacking.

The same day, Clinton's lead in the popular vote increased to more than 2million. Millions more are left to be counted, and many are expected to go to Clinton

The same day, Clinton’s lead in the popular vote increased to more than 2million. Millions more are left to be counted, and many are expected to go to Clinton