Stein drops recount suit over $1 million bond

Lawyers for Jill Stein’s failed presidential campaign have dropped a lawsuit seeking a statewide recount in Pennsylvania because their clients could not afford a million-dollar bond imposed by Commonwealth Court.

“Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means. They cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the court,” lawyers wrote in a document filed Saturday.

“Accordingly, kindly mark the above captioned matter withdrawn and discontinued,” they concluded.

In a one-paragraph response, the court ordered the matter closed, cancelling a hearing which had been set for Monday morning in Harrisburg.

But the death of one court case hasn’t killed localized recounts at a number of locations around the state, nor the end of Stein’s war of words against November’s victory by Republican Donald Trump.

And the New York Times reports the Stein camp plans to ask the federal courts to intervene.

Stein on Saturday said she still plans to make an announcement outside Trump Tower on Monday morning regarding her next step, releasing a statement saying “we will pursue every available remedy to ensure Pennsylvanians can trust what happened in this election.”

As that recount continues, Trump’s lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton has shrunk in Pennsylvania. Previous counts had indicated he won Pennsylvania by about 70,000 votes, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton 48.8 percent to 47.6 percent.

As of Friday, however, The Associated Press was reporting that state officials said an updated count had reduced Trump’s lead to just 49,000, and that was with some counties still finishing their counts for various reasons. That reduces Trump’s lead to 0.8 percent, still above the 0.5 percent threshhold required to initiate an automatic statewide recount.

Stein, meanwhile, only received about 48,000 votes in the state.

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania on Saturday issued a statement calling on Stein to stand down.

“Jill Stein finally abandoned her frivolous and baseless statewide election contest to challenge President-elect Trump’s big victory in Pennsylvania,” the statement read.

“Ms. Stein and her supporters should now withdraw the few scattered recounts that they filed in Pennsylvania as they clearly have no chance of changing the results and that it was done for media attention.”

Roger DuPuis
Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com.

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