Wisconsin Recount: One Week In, One Week Left

Latest update on what's going on.

With one week left to certify the results of the Wisconsin Presidential election, the recount has proceeded just about as everybody expected, if a bit faster. Through Sunday, 38.6% of the votes cast for the 7 candidates on the ballot, or 1,135,377 as reported in the county canvasses, were fully recounted in 41.8% of the reporting units, or 1519 of 3636. That is despite several counties, for various reasons, not actually beginning their recounts until yesterday. In 918 of those reporting units, there was no change in the number of votes cast for each candidate. In another 407, there was a gross change of either 1 vote or 2 votes.

There was a total of 1614 changes to the vote totals, or 0.142% of the votes counted in the original county canvasses. However, most of these changes cancelled each other out, so the total number of votes increased by only 198. Donald Trump benefited the most thus far, gaining 84 votes over the county canvasses, while Hillary Clinton gained 63 votes and Jill Stein gained 31 votes.

So far, there have been 14 reporting units that have had a gross vote change of at least 10 votes. Of the 10 that have already provided an explanation for the discrepancies between the canvass and the recount, only one, one of the reporting units in the town of Whitewater, blamed a voting machine, specifically, a jammed voting machine that the elections officials apparently did not properly account for on Election Day. The rest were errors by election officials or voters, whether the errors were ballots not counted on election day, “mismarked” ballots, misreporting in the canvass, or in one case in the town of Fond du Lac, 13 absentee ballots with missing envelopes and a 14th that was also rejected for reasons currently unknown.

Speaking of rejected absentee ballots, that there have been no reports of any of the campaigns seeking to disqualify a whole stack of absentee ballots is, thus far, one positive difference between this recount and the 2011 David Prosser-JoAnne Kloppenburg recount.

In short, thus far, there is absolutely no evidence of “hacked” voting machines, or even statistically significant errors by either election officials or voters in not making their intent sufficiently clear. That hasn’t stopped the Stein campaign from getting a federal court to order the immediate recount of Michigan’s vote despite a statutory 2-business day waiting period from the time a recount is ordered and a pending lawsuit before Michigan’s Supreme Court filed by that state’s attorney general to declare her not an “aggrieved” candidate and thus not entitled to a recount. That hasn’t stopped the Stein campaign from running to federal court in a 13th-hour attempt to nullify the Pennsylvania election after it balked at paying a state court a $1 million bond to get a hearing on that request, despite a re-canvass of select Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) precincts that turned up no errors. That hasn’t stopped supporters of Hillary Clinton from filing a lawsuit in Florida just this morning to get a hand recount there, despite Trump winning that state by over 112,000 votes.

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