The state of Wisconsin is poised to hold a recount after the Green Party's US presidential candidate led a multimillion-dollar fundraising drive following claims of voting irregularities in three key swing states which may have helped Donald Trump to win the election.
In less than 24 hours, Dr Jill Stein raised US$3.8 million online and yesterday instructed lawyers to file for a recount in Wisconsin, and Michigan and Pennsylvania next week.
Trump won all three by around 1 per cent despite Hillary Clinton leading in almost all opinion polls in those states. A group of computer scientists and election lawyers claims to have found evidence the results may have been manipulated.
"We're not doing this because we expect the results to be overturned or because there's a smoking gun," Stein said. "We are doing it because the American people deserve to have confidence in the voting system."
A total of 270 electoral college votes are needed to win. Clinton has 232 to Trump's 306. If all three states turn Democrat, she would gain 46 electoral votes - and win.
Clinton fared 7 per cent worse in Wisconsin counties that used electronic voting machines rather than paper ballots, and despite a lack of evidence, a cyber attack on the machines has been suggested as a possible explanation.
The White House has confirmed Russian hackers infiltrated the computers of the Democratic National Committee during the election campaign and potentially that of a top adviser to Clinton.
"This was a hacked election - party databases, individuals - there is no doubt there was a lot of hacking around this election and voting equipment is vulnerable to cyber attacks," Stein said.
"The fact is the outcome was very close in those three states, a very small margin of victory. This is something positive we're doing to ensure the integrity of the voting system and restore people's faith."
While reversing the outcomes in all three states would hand the election to Clinton, Stein said the recount bid was non-partisan. It would not benefit her personally, as she won less than 1.4 million votes overall.
While Trump has the most electoral college votes, Clinton won nearly two million more votes than him nationwide and pressure is mounting among liberals for a full investigation.
Trump claimed throughout the campaign that the process was "rigged" against him and that he would not commit himself to accepting the final result. "Look who 'can't accept the election results'," Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, tweeted yesterday.
As a result of Stein's fundraising, the Wisconsin Elections Commission said it was preparing for a recount, but insisted there was no evidence voting equipment was tampered with.
The process is expected to be long and complex, with paperless voting machines across dozens of districts being impounded for forensic analysis.
"We expect it to go to court and there will be challenges along the way," Stein said, adding: "There is so much pent-up desire for this sort of initiative and that has to come to the fore."