Jill Stein, the Green Party's candidate in the US presidential election, formally filed a motion for a recount in Wisconsin on Friday as her funding effort for counting the votes again in three states passed $5 million (about €4. 7 million).
As more money flooded in for her effort - which aims to fund recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all states where Donald Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton - she admitted she had no hard evidence of fraud but said the systems were vulnerable.
Her campaign team said it would formally file in Wisconsin before the 5pm ET deadline to do so; the recount motion deadlines for the other two states are next week.
Less than half an hour before the deadline, the Wisconsin elections commission confirmed it had received the recount petition.
Her move has split opinions, with some energised by the thought it has the potential to show that defeated Democrat Clinton is the rightful election winner, and those who see Ms Stein’s intervention as an expensive gimmick to promote the Green Party.
The fundraising site explained that Ms Stein’s campaign “could not guarantee” any of these states would have a recount.
“We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states,” the site said.
Amid questions from some quarters about how the money would be used, the site said: “If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.”
On Friday, Ms Stein said she was acting due to “compelling evidence of voting anomalies” and that data analysis had indicated “significant discrepancies in vote totals” that were released by state authorities.
“We do not have a smoking gun,” Ms Stein told CNN. “On the other hand, we have a system that invites hacking, tampering and malfeasance.”
She said her campaign had no direct evidence voting systems had been hacked - something independent experts have also been sceptical about.
Ms Stein also insisted the recount was not meant to block Donald Trump, the surprise election winner, from becoming president.
Ms Stein has frequently expressed disappointment in Ms Clinton, and the day before the election described the Democratic nominee as a “warmonger” whose victory would be “a mushroom cloud waiting to happen”.
Those comments led to Ms Stein being condemned by elected members of the Green Party in Europe.
“Both of the candidates were at the highest level of distrust and dislike in our history and, in my view, we as voters deserve a voting system that we can believe in,” Ms Stein said on Friday.
“And, to my mind, having a verified vote is just a first step.”
Ms Stein launched the campaign amid wider calls to recount or audit election results.
Groups of academics and activists were concerned that foreign hackers may have interfered with voting systems, though none have provided evidence such hacking occurred.
These groups have called on Ms Clinton to intervene. She is leading in the popular vote by more than 2.1 million votes, a lead which is expected to grow.
But Mr Trump won narrow victories against Ms Clinton in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin earlier this month and was declared the victor in Michigan on Thursday - sealing his electoral college win.
Ms Stein’s effort, launched on Wednesday afternoon, is directed at funding recounts in those three states.
Ms Stein quickly surpassed the initial $2 million fundraising goal by early Thursday morning, prompting her campaign to raise the goal to $4.5 million.
After crossing that threshold, the campaign increased the goal to $7 million.
These funds will be used to file recount requests and for attorney’s fees, according to Ms Stein’s campaign manager, David Cobb.
He said $1 million was needed for Wisconsin, $600,000 for Michigan and $500,000 for Pennsylvania.
The rest of the money is expected to go to legal fees associated with the recount.