Jill Stein BACKS campaign for a presidential election recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania after computer scientists’ doubts about electronic voting machines

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has announced plans to raise funds to try to force a recount in three pivotal states that helped hand President-elect Donald Trump the White House after computer scientists raised questions about the vote in the three states.

Stein, who got less than 1 per cent of the vote, is appealing for contributions in a drive to raise $2 million to mount the effort.

Stein’s campaign ‘is launching an effort to ensure the integrity of our elections. With your help, are are raising money to demand recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania– three states where the data suggests a significant need to verify machine-counted vote totals,’ her campaign wrote.

The effort had raised more than $250,000 by the end of the day Wednesday.  The pitch comes after computer science experts contacted the Clinton campaign and urged it to seek a recount, citing a statistical analysis of the vote in the three states. 

There isn’t evidence that the elections were hacked in the three states.

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Failed Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is appealing for funds to push for recounts in states that tipped the election to Donald Trump

Failed Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is appealing for funds to push for recounts in states that tipped the election to Donald Trump

Computer scientists including J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, have conducted an analysis of the vote.

That vote showed that Clinton performed 7 per cent worse in Wisconsin counties that have electronic voting machines than in counties that relied on paper ballots that are logged with an optical scanner.

The group have contacted high level Clinton staffers, including campaign chair John Podesta and general counsel Marc Elias, and made their case in a conference call, according to New York Magazine.

The Trump and Clinton camps haven’t responded to requests for comment. 

Although the scientists provide no evidence of a hack, they note that computer vote tallying machines in closely contested states could be susceptible to hacking – in an election that featured hacks of the Democratic National Committee and of Podesta’s private email account.

U.S. government officials have said Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic groups. 

Clinton’s lead over Trump in the popular vote now tops 2 million. Michigan is still too close to call, although Trump has a lead of 12,000 votes. 

Michigan has an automatic recount if the race is closer than 2,000 votes. All three states have deadlines to request a recount in the next several days.

Halderman wrote in a Medium post: ‘The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.’

‘Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts,’ he added. 

Nevertheless, he concluded: ‘Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not. I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked.’ 

The effort also includes voting rights attorney John Bonifaz, New York Magazine wrote in a report on the effort to sway the Clinton camp. 

The experts reached out to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in a conference call. Podesta's personal emails were hacked during the campaign

The experts reached out to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in a conference call. Podesta’s personal emails were hacked during the campaign

Democrat Hillary Clinton already conceded to Trump and gave a farewell speech. She faces a recount deadline of just days in the three states, if she even wanted to mount a challenge

Democrat Hillary Clinton already conceded to Trump and gave a farewell speech. She faces a recount deadline of just days in the three states, if she even wanted to mount a challenge

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

Podesta's hacked emails were a trove of damaging information during the campaign. U.S. government officials said Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic groups

Podesta’s hacked emails were a trove of damaging information during the campaign. U.S. government officials said Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic groups

Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin's sister, Heba, urged people on Facebook to contact the Justice Department to seek an 'audit' of the election

Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s sister, Heba, urged people on Facebook to contact the Justice Department to seek an ‘audit’ of the election

Based on the analysis, Clinton could have been denied up to 30,000 votes in Wisconsin, a state she lost by 27,000 votes.

For Clinton to prevail in the electoral college, both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would have to flip, and Michigan would have to tilt her way.

Wisconsin’s recount deadline is Friday – the deadline for Stein’s cash appeal – and Pennsylvania’s is Monday. 

All three states typically vote for Democrats.

Huma Abedin’s sister, Heba Abedin, released a post on Facebook calling on people to phone the Justice Department seeking an audit. The DOJ doesn’t tabulate such calls to decide whether to conduct an audit.

A group of Democratic electors are urging Republican and Democratic electors to vote against Trump when the Electoral College meets on December 19. Some state laws bar electors from going against the votes in their states.