Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein discovered in 2016 that challenging election results can be a awfully lucrative business.
Stein called on Democratic donors to help her look into alleged instances of fraud and abuse in the electoral process after what she called a “deeply painful election,” and now she is walking away with millions of dollars.
After forcing a recount in Wisconsin, with little change in the results, and being forced to drop her efforts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, Stein ended with a flourish by asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the U.S. election process.
Stein managed to raise approximately $7.3 million from donors sympathetic to her cause and said in mid-December she expected to have money left over.
And so she did – with $2 million of that leftover money going directly to her, according to the Washington Free Beacon:
Wisconsin initially estimated that the effort would cost $3.5 million. A spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission told the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday that the final costs for 70 of the 72 counties in the state was $1.8 million. With the remaining two counties, the total costs could hit $2 million, the spokesman said. Stein would be reimbursed the remaining $1.5 million.
Stein will also receive hundreds of thousands in reimbursements for the failed recount attempt in Michigan.
Stein paid in full for Michigan’s 7,786 precincts at a rate of $125 per precinct, according to a spokesperson for Michigan’s Department of State. Recounts were completed in 3,050 of the state’s 7,786 precincts before being stopped by the courts. Stein will receive a refund for the remaining 4,736 precincts totaling $592,000.
Stein has insisted she will not pocket the reimbursement but will instead invest it in a new group called Count My Vote, which she says will focus on ensuring election integrity. The group is in the process of releasing a report on the Wisconsin recount.
Stein’s recount efforts were derided by Republicans. President-elect Donald Trump labeled the effort a “scam,” and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, called the effort a “ridiculous fundraising and publicity stunt.”