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Jill Stein Campaign Drops Statewide Recount Effort In Pennsylvania

Jill Stein, at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in August.

Updated at 8:48 ET with Lawrence Otter's comments

Jill Stein has ended her statewide ballot recount effort in Pennsylvania. Lawrence M. Otter, a lawyer for the former Green Party presidential candidate, withdrew the lawsuit filed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania early Saturday evening.

"Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means," the filing states. "They cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the Court."

Stein elaborated on Twitter, asking: "How odd is it that we must jump through bureaucratic hoops and raise millions of dollars so we can trust our election results?"

Last month, Stein launched a fundraising campaign to pursue a recount in Pennsylvania, as well as in Michigan and Wisconsin — three states President-elect Donald Trump narrowly won en route to his Electoral College victory. That campaign — which sought to "ensure the integrity of our elections," according to her website — proved wildly successful, raking in nearly $7 million in donations to fund the former candidate's efforts.

Stein subsequently filed her request for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania on Monday, just days after she officially requested a recount in Wisconsin. In Michigan, where Trump was certified the winner only last week, the situation proved to be a bit more complicated: Stein requested a recount there — only to have her request tangled by an objection from the Trump campaign. After the state's Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on the issue Friday, the Detroit Free Press reports a hand recount in Michigan appears set to proceed next week.

Hillary Clinton's campaign reluctantly said it would participate in the proceedings, "to ensure our campaign is legally represented," according to campaign lawyer Marc Erik Elias.

In Pennsylvania, though, Stein's withdrawal brings an abrupt conclusion to a statewide effort that began there less than one week ago.

Still, this doesn't spell an end to recounts in the state entirely, Stein's lawyer, Lawrence Otter, tells The Philadelphia Inquirer:

"Stein's campaign intends to continue its county-by-county recount effort in Pennsylvania, said attorney Larry Otter. That requires efforts in individual precincts — a process that requires three voters to petition their local election boards.

"In the region, a recount in Philadelphia is already underway in 75 of the city's more than 1,600 divisions. Judges in Bucks and Delaware counties will hear arguments this week on whether to grant recounts, Otter said."

At this time, there is no indication that Stein's campaign plans to drop its efforts in Wisconsin — where The Associated Press reports a recount is already underway — or in Michigan.

Stein plans to hold a rally and press conference Monday outside Trump Tower in New York City.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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