Hillary Clinton made her first move in the presidential election recount effort on Tuesday, declaring support for an attempt to force Wisconsin authorities to review the state’s 3m votes by hand.
Clinton intervened in the case of a lawsuit brought by Jill Stein, the Green party candidate, which seeks to bar officials in Wisconsin from carrying out recounts with machines, according to the docket for the case at Dane County circuit court.
An attorney for Clinton said in a court filing that the former secretary of state argues, like Stein, that hand recounts are superior to automatic recounts of ballots by optical scanners, which are used by about 90% of counties in the state.
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Clinton “respectfully supports the issuance of an order requiring a manual recount of all ballots cast in the presidential election in Wisconsin”, attorney Joshua Kaul said in the motion, according to the Madison Capital Times.
Attorneys for Clinton did not respond to requests for comment.
A hearing on Stein’s case was taking place on Tuesday night at the court in Madison. Wisconsin authorities argued in opposition to the lawsuit that hand recounts would be too time-consuming and make it impossible to finish by a 12 December deadline.
Stein’s request was denied late on Tuesday, when Dane County circuit judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn ruled that counties could choose whether to recount by hand or machine.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel welcomed the decision, which he said “followed the law enacted by the legislature”. Stein’s attorneys said they would decide on Wednesday whether to appeal against Bailey-Rihn’s decision.
Stein is seeking full recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states where Clinton narrowly lost to Donald Trump. After declining to take up the recount cause, Clinton’s campaign said last weekend that it would cooperate in the process.
Trump’s campaign reacted furiously to the recount requests, accusing those involved of being “crybabies and losers”. Trump later made a series of wild claims on Twitter, without any evidence, that Clinton had benefited from widespread illegal voting.
Stein had been asked to act by a coalition of election security experts and activists concerned that foreign hackers could have sabotaged the presidential election. US intelligence agencies said during the election campaign that Russian hackers had intruded into some state voter systems and stolen emails from Democratic officials.
More than $6.5m for the recount effort has been raised online in a crowdfunding effort led by Stein. Authorities in Wisconsin confirmed on Tuesday that Stein had paid the $3.5m in fees required for the recount but said once again that price had increased.
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The state election commission, which on Monday raised the asking price from $1.1m to $3.5m, said they had miscalculated and another $400,000 was needed. The commission said it would proceed and bill the Stein campaign after the recount.
Stein has further work to do in other states. In Pennsylvania, her supporters have filed recount petitions in more than 260 election districts around six of the state’s largest counties, according to Stein’s team. State rules require three voters in each to make such a request for a recount to be triggered there.
Stein’s tally of districts is well short of the total 9,163 across the state. A spokesman did not respond to a request to confirm that the petitions had been submitted before filing deadlines, which vary between counties.
The campaign said it intended to file a recount petition in Michigan on Wednesday, which is the state deadline. A spokesman said state officials had indicated they were willing to proceed with a recount by hand after the petition is filed.
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