Solano Greens

The Green Party of Solano County California

The Recount: What You Need to Know

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Below are a few common questions that voters have about Jill Stein’s recount effort – see: http://www.jill2016.com/recountfaq

wisconsinrecount

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Why are you really doing this?

Despite the many rumors swirling on the Internet, Jill Stein genuinely believes in the power of grassroots democracy. Independently funded candidates like Jill Stein cannot stand a chance if our electoral system is rigged in favor of establishment, corporate-funded candidates. The evidence so far shows it is easy to hack many voting machines being used in elections.

In Michigan, 87,810 voters cast a ballot, but did not cast a vote for president. That compares to 49,840 no-votes for president in 2012. The high number begs investigation.

The DRE voting machines used in Wisconsin were banned in California after discovering their vulnerability to hacking and malicious programming because of inadequate security features.

Aside from conducting a recount, we advocate Ranked Choice Voting and federal campaign financing, just a few solutions put forth by the Green Party in its six-point plan for grassroots democracy. 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.”

This is the first-ever attempt to demand recounts in multiple states following a presidential election.

How are donations used?

The money raised for Recount 2016 can only be used for recount purposes. That money sits inside of a separate account created just for the recount initiative. It cannot mingle with the Stein/Baraka campaign’s general funds, per the Federal Election Commission’s rules. Because the state of Wisconsin increased the amount needed to file for a recount, it is unlikely money will be left over after all recounts.

How will you use surplus funds?

If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.

Why do recounts matter?

Well, here’s the impact of the 2004 recount:

The 2004 Green Party presidential campaign of David Cobb and Pat LaMarche led investigations and demanded recounts in Ohio and New Mexico in the wake of widespread complaints about disqualification and obstruction of legitimate voters. The complaints came mostly from majority-black precincts and college campuses, and included allegations of tampering with computer voting machines on Election Day.

Democrats, led by nominee John Kerry, were silent in response to these complaints. A notable exception was U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who held hearings on the Ohio election theft and published “What Went Wrong in Ohio.” A few local Democrats in Ohio spoke up, but the Green Party ultimately led the charge. Cobb was joined by Libertarian nominee Michael Badnarik, although Greens did most of the recount work. Greens raised the money to file the initial recount and litigated all the issues in court. Democrats and the major media have swept most of this under the rug—especially the role of the Green Party. Greens stood up for clean elections in 2004 and exposed GOP irregularities, while Democrats (who should have learned something from 2000) looked the other way.

Here are additional concrete, tangible results of the 2004 recount efforts:

  1. The investigation uncovered evidence that led to the conviction of two Republican operatives in Cuyahoga County, greater caution in many states regarding computer voting and the decision in some states not to use Diebold machines in future elections.
  2. It helped to accelerate the growth of the “Election Integrity” movement, which is largely responsible for the halt of the proliferation of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines (which is renowned for “Black Box Voting”).
  3. The recount helped to provoke a “top to bottom” review of the California voting systems by then-Secretary of State Debra Bowen. This led to DREs being outlawed in that state.
  4. New Mexico Green Rick Lass helped organize a citizens’ lobbying effort that culminated in that state revamping its voting system: They eliminated all DREs and went to a full paper-ballot system. They instituted mandatory audits. They instituted state-funded recounts in any state races where the reported margin of victory is 0.5% or less.
  5. A group of citizens from Minnesota participated as election observers in the Ohio recount, and were so appalled by their experience that they created Citizens for Election Integrity, a nonpartisan organization advocating for verifiable, transparent and accurate elections across the country. Their searchable database of recount/audit laws is the premiere source of information for anyone attempting to understand this complicated legal landscape.
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