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Green Party Changes Strategy, Will Seek Pennsylvania Recount

Hours after dropping a state court case, the party said it will go to federal court instead, saying state court isn't equipped to address problems.
Jill Stein
In this Sept. 8, 2016 file photo, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein speaks during a news conference at South Austin neighborhood in Chicago.Tae-Gyun Kim / AP

The Green Party shifted strategy in its recount effort Saturday, saying it will pursue a statewide effort in Pennsylvania in federal rather than state court.

The move came hours after the Green Party dropped its state court case seeking a recount in the battleground state, which narrowly voted for Trump. The lead attorney for the Jill Stein-led recount effort later said that the state court is not able to tackle what he called "pervasive" problems.

"Make no mistake — the Stein campaign will continue to fight for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania,” attorney Jonathan Abady said in the statement late Saturday.

"Over the past several days, it has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention," Abady said.

Abady said the Stein campaign would file a federal lawsuit on Monday.

The court filing to withdraw the state case said backers couldn't afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by 5 p.m. Monday. Stein in a statement called the $1 million bond order "outrageous."

Stein is also seeking recounts in the swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin. She has raised cyberattacks into voter and party databases in calling for recounts.

President-elect Donald Trump has called the recounts a "scam." Trump also claimed in a Tweet, without presenting any evidence, that he would have won the popular vote but for "the millions of people who voted illegally."

Trump’s baseless claim was roundly criticized by election officials. Supporter and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an interview with USA Today was among those who said Trump's claim was a mistake.

Stein has said the American people "deserve to have peace of mind." Pennsylvania's top elections official, a Democrat, says there's no evidence of cyberattacks or voting irregularities.

The Associated Press contributed.