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US Green Party to pursue Pennsylvania recount in federal court

Green Party politician Jill Stein has said she will take a Pennsylvania vote recount petition to the federal court. The party dropped their bid in a state court after a judge ordered the party to post a $1 million bond.

Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein vowed late Saturday to continue to push for a statewide recount of votes cast in Pennsylvania by bringing the petition to federal court.

"The Stein campaign will escalate our campaign in Pennsylvania and file for emergency relief in federal court, demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds," attorney Jonathan Abady said in a statement posted on Stein's recount campaign website shortly before midnight on Saturday.

"The state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention," the statement said.

The campaign plans to file a suit in federal court on Monday, "demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds."

The statement came hours after the Green Party-affiliated voters dropped their case in state court, saying they couldn't afford the $1 million (937,000 euros) bond ordered by the court.

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania set the bond one day after representatives of President-elect Donald Trump requested a $10 million bond, according to court papers. The state court gave the petitioners until Monday to post the bond, but they withdrew instead.

USA | Eine Frau mit Kind auf dem Weg zum einem Wahllokal in Pennsylvania (Getty Images/J. Swensen)

Pennsylvania's elections board allowed county recounts to continue but refused a forensic audit of voting machines

Stein said that recounts under way in some Pennsylvania counties would continue. The state's electoral commission approved renewed vote tallies in 75 precincts where voters requested one, but refused to allow a full forensic audit of voting machines.

Michigan recount stalled

Stein has spearheaded efforts for recounts in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, citing unspecified "anomalies" as a basis for requesting the recount. She has also raised almost $7 million so far, according to her website.

Trump narrowly defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the three traditionally Democratic-leaning 'Rust Belt' states.

Michigan's Republican attorney general filed to block the vote recount, while the state's election board deadlocked on the Trump campaign's request to deny the recount. A statewide recount in Wisconsin is already underway.

The recounts are unlikely to overturn the result as Clinton would have to take all three states to win the electoral vote. Clinton's popular vote lead over Trump has extended to over 2.5 million votes.

Stein is set to announce "the next steps" in the recount effort on Monday at a press conference at Trump Tower in New York City.

rs/jlw (AFP, Reuters)

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