Racine vote recount shows Lehman is the winner in recall election

RACINE -- A recount of votes shows John Lehman is the winner of the 21st Senate District recall election in Racine. The recount finished up Monday morning, July 2nd -- and put Lehman over Van Wanggaard by 819 votes. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board must now certify the recount.

The Wanggaard camp maintains the results are at the very least, suspicious. Wanggaard's campaign has until next Tuesday, July 10th to decide whether to appeal the recount results.

"The sloppy handling -- it goes beyond sloppy. It goes absolutely contrary to Wisconsin law. I go back to the word careless,"Jonathan Strasburg, Wanggaard's attorney said.

Strasburg was referring to the discovery of ballot bags in the city of Racine that were found unsealed and in some cases, double-bagged.

"Some of the manner in which some of the materials were handled was careless on the part of the poll workers - but not all poll workers," said Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen.

Christensen also said the Board of Canvass checked the ballots from those bags and the numbers matched numbers from the machines. Lehman said the state is ready to move forward.

"Wisconsin is waiting for its Legislature to start being cooperative -- to start working on jobs and other issues the people want us to work on and not the shenanigans that the Republicans are playing in this long, drawn-out process," he said.

"If we don't have election officials in the city of Racine who are willing and able to enforce the law, it will undermine the integrity of our voting system," Strasburg said.

Wanggaard intends to spend the next couple of days reviewing the evidence and speaking with voters and family before deciding his next step. Republicans have threatened a lawsuit -- which could drag out the process for months.

The GAB cannot officially certify the recount results until it knows whether the Republicans will appeal.

The Lehman win gives Democrats a 17-16 edge in the Senate. However, 16 senators are up for election in the fall.

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