Why does it cost so much?

The cost is a function of state laws.The bulk of the money raised went toward state filing fees, while a portion went toward legal and expert fees and the cost of recount observers in each state.

Here is a breakdown of state filing fees:

SPENDING CATEGORY COST  
PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL
State filing fees:   $4,488,939  60%
  • Wisconsin:          $3,499,689
  • Michigan:            $973,250
  • Pennsylvania:      $16,000*
   
Legal expenses for recount: $1,630,200 22%
Legal expenses for ongoing litigation: $150,000   2%
Payments to recount observers & volunteer costs: $86,214 1%
Staff payroll:   $212,500 3%
Consultants:
(E.g. election experts, communications support)
$364,000  5%
Administrative expenses:
(E.g. office and travel costs and donation processing fees)
$353,618 5%
Compliance costs: $150,000 2%

*Note: the Stein campaign's initial fundraising target for PA was $500,000, which covered requisite filing fees and associated notary costs. The actual number, however, was lowered due to Pennsylvania’s bottom-up process, which required 27,000 voters in 9,000-plus precincts to submit official, notarized petitions to county boards, in time for shifting, divergent and secret deadlines known, in order to start a statewide recount.