Hillary Clinton's campaign on Saturday announced they would participate in former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's recount of the votes cast for president in at least one state.
Stein filed a petition in Wisconsin on Friday some 90 minutes before the 5 p.m deadline requesting a recount of the votes cast for president, Wisconsin Elections Commission officials said.
Marc Elias, general counsel for the Clinton campaign, wrote in a post on Medium on Saturday that "now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides."
He cautioned, however, that the Clinton camp had not previously pushed for a recount because they "had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology."
Elias said the campaign had "quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states," including reaching out to lawyers and data scientists to examine the possibility of hacked voting results, and monitoring and staffing post-election canvasses and double-checking the math.
Stein has quickly raised $4.7 million from left-leaning voters concerned about voter fraud in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. She also set aside $2.5 million for the Wisconsin recount — which election officials said would cost around $1 million — and vowed to file the request before its deadline.
Under the state's electoral laws, the Stein campaign will have to pay the entire estimated cost for the recount before it can be ordered.
On Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the recount would make no difference to the result of the election.
He claimed the Green Party's effort "to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems."
The Stein petition was filed with little time remaining. Roughly three hours before the deadline, the Wisconsin Elections Commission had tweeted that no paperwork had been filed.
Two hours before the deadline, Meleiza Figueroa, the press director for Stein's campaign, told BuzzFeed News that "there were certain documents that had to be prepared before submission and they were gathering all the needed documents" before filing the petition.
In a tweet shortly after the petition was filed, Stein asked people to volunteer to observe the recount in every county in Wisconsin.
The Election Commission will now notify the public and all the candidates that the recount will be starting within two days of the petition being filed.
The commission's statement explained that a recount is different from an audit, which is already occurring across Wisconsin. A recount is much more "rigorous," it said.
"In a recount, all ballots (including those that were originally hand counted) are examined to determine voter intent before being retabulated," Michael Haas, the commission's administrator, explained. "If the candidates disagree with the results of the recount, the law gives them the right to appeal in circuit court within five business days after the recount is completed."
The recount must be completed within two weeks of it being ordered. After that, Stein will file petitions and potentially be granted recounts in the other two swing states. If all three states were to move to Clinton, she would win enough electoral college votes to take the presidency.
Pennsylvania's recount deadline is Monday and Michigan's is Wednesday.
Though recounts have been successfully commissioned before — in 2004 the Green Party commissioned a recount in Ohio to no avail — the result of a presidential election has never before been changed by a recount.