Recount in WI; for first time ever: Clinton campaign “participating,” President-elect Trump calls it “ridiculous”
MADISON — Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on Friday, November 25th filed a request for a recount with Wisconsin election officials. That means there will be a presidential recount in Wisconsin — for the first time ever.
Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Mike Haas said Stein filed the request around mid-afternoon Friday — about an hour-and-a-half ahead of a 5:00 p.m. deadline.
Stein’s campaign has been raising money online to cover the costs of recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. She said she wants to make sure hackers didn’t skew the results in those swing states.
The campaign had raised about $5.2 million as of Friday afternoon.
Wisconsin law calls for the state to perform a recount at a candidate’s request as long as he or she can pay for it.
The state has never performed a presidential recount.
Election officials estimate the effort will cost up to $1 million.
President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday said the election is over and called the recount effort a “scam.”
“The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, ‘we must accept this result and then look to the future,'” President-elect Trump said in a statement, which labeled the recount “ridiculous” in a headline.
President-elect Trump said he won Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvanian by “large numbers” and noted his margin of more than 70,000 in Pennsylvania.
“This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing,” President-elect Trump said.
President-elect Trump’s full statement is as follows:
“The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, ‘we must accept this result and then look to the future.’
It is important to point out that with the help of millions of voters across the country, we won 306 electoral votes on Election Day – the most of any Republican since 1988 – and we carried nine of 13 battleground states, 30 of 50 states, and more than 2,600 counties nationwide – the most since President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount. All three states were won by large numbers of voters, especially Pennsylvania, which was won by more than 70,000 votes.
This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing.”
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign has said it will “participate” in the process of the recount after “quietly” taking a series of steps since the election — finding “no actionable evidence of hacking” in Wisconsin. The Clinton campaign was not going to initiate a recount on its own.
Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias noted in a statement that the margin in Wisconsin (and Michigan, and Pennsylvania) is larger than any previous margin that a recount has overcome.
Below is the complete statement from Elias:
“Over the last few days, officials in the Clinton campaign have received hundreds of messages, emails, and calls urging us to do something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton. The concerns have arisen, in particular, with respect to Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — three states that together proved decisive in this presidential election and where the combined margin of victory for Donald Trump was merely 107,000 votes.
It should go without saying that we take these concerns extremely seriously. We certainly understand the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton, and it is a fundamental principle of our democracy to ensure that every vote is properly counted.
Moreover, this election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials, and just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the “fake news” propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election.
For all these reasons, we have quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states.
First, since the day after the election we have had lawyers and data scientists and analysts combing over the results to spot anomalies that would suggest a hacked result. These have included analysts both from within the campaign and outside, with backgrounds in politics, technology and academia.
Second, we have had numerous meetings and calls with various outside experts to hear their concerns and to discuss and review their data and findings. As a part of this, we have also shared out data and findings with them. Most of those discussions have remained private, while at least one has unfortunately been the subject of leaks.
Third, we have attempted to systematically catalogue and investigate every theory that has been presented to us within our ability to do so.
Fourth, we have examined the laws and practices as they pertain to recounts, contests and audits.
Fifth, and most importantly, we have monitored and staffed the post-election canvasses — where voting machine tapes are compared to poll-books, provisional ballots are resolved, and all of the math is double checked from election night. During that process, we have seen Secretary Clinton’s vote total grow, so that, today, her national popular vote lead now exceeds more than 2 million votes.
In the coming days, we will continue to perform our due diligence and actively follow all further activities that are to occur prior to the certification of any election results. For instance, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania conduct post-election audits using a sampling of precincts. Michigan and many other states still do not. This is unfortunate; it is our strong belief that, in addition to an election canvass, every state should do this basic audit to ensure accuracy and public confidence in the election.
Beyond the post-election audit, Green Party candidate Jill Stein announced Friday that she will exercise her right as a candidate to pursue a recount in the state of Wisconsin. She has indicated plans to also seek recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well. We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.
The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities. While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.”
The Green Party has noted the difference between exit poll information and the final election results in Wisconsin got their attention. They say exit poll data showed President-elect Donald Trump with 44.3% of the vote. Mr. Trump ended up with 47.9% — they say a variance that big is so rare, you’ll see it just once in every 850 elections.
State elections officials have told county clerks to prepare for a recount that could take at least a couple weeks.
The Green Party will be paying for this recount. Party representatives said it’s worth it — to make sure results are accurate — despite the fact that state elections officials said it would be extremely difficult to tamper with the ballots, adding there’s a paper trail of all of them, even those from touch-screen voting machines.
While the Green Party estimates a recount in Wisconsin would cost $1.1 million, officials with the Wisconsin Elections Commission said they won’t a have a number itself until they gets individual estimates from clerks.
The last statewide recount was of the Supreme Court election in 2011. At that time, the Associated Press surveyed county clerks and reported that costs to the counties exceeded $520,000, though several counties did not respond to the AP’s survey. That election had 1.5 million votes, and Wisconsin Elections Commission officials said the Commission expects the costs to be higher for an election with 2.975 million votes.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has noted — a recount is different than an audit and is more rigorous. More than 100 reporting units across the state were randomly selected for a separate audit of their voting equipment as required by state law, and that process has already begun. Electronic voting equipment audits determine whether all properly-marked ballots are accurately tabulated by the equipment.
In a recount, all ballots (including those that were originally hand counted) are examined to determine voter intent before being retabulated. In addition, the county boards of canvassers will examine other documents, including poll lists, written absentee applications, rejected absentee ballots, and provisional ballots before counting the votes.
Any recount would have to be finished by December 13th. That’s the federal deadline for states to submit their list of Electoral College representatives, which of course, is tied to the winning candidate.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission will go over the proposed timeline for the presidential recount Monday morning, November 28th in Madison. Commission members will be asked to vote to approve the proposed timeline, which is as follows (based on a memorandum from the Wisconsin Elections Commission):
- Friday, November 25th: Both petitions received.
- Monday, November 28th: Cost estimates and vote tabulation method provided by county clerk to WEC by noon. WEC provides estimated statewide costs to both the Stein and De La Fuente campaigns by close of business.
- Tuesday, November 29th: Stein and/or De La Fuente campaign submits payment to WEC. Once full payment is received by either campaign, the WEC will issue a recount order to all presidential candidates.
- Wednesday, November 30th: WEC staff will hold a teleconference for all county clerks and canvass members to go over the recount rules and processes. The teleconference is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. and will be held via webinar. Invitation instructions will be sent out next week to all county clerks. A 24-hour public meeting notice is required for the recount and therefore each county should post its notice by this date.
- Thursday, December 1st: Recount begins in all Wisconsin Counties. A 24-hour public meeting notice is required.
- Tuesday, December 13th: Recounts must be completed under federal law. County canvass boards need to be completed by noon. WEC staff will prepare the official recount canvass certification by 3 p.m.
According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the Commission’s role is to order the recount, to provide legal guidance to the counties during the recount, and to certify the results.
If the candidates disagree with the results of the recount, the law gives them the right to appeal in circuit court within five business days after the recount is completed.
The circuit court is where issues are resolved that may be discovered during the recount but are not resolved to the satisfaction of the candidates.
Official results from all 72 counties indicate the presidential candidates received the following vote totals, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission:
|Total Votes Cast||2,975,313|
|Donald J. Trump||1,404,000|
|Darrell L. Castle||12,156|
|Rocky Roque De La Fuente||1,514|
|Cherunda Fox (write-in)||44|
|Evan McMullin (write-in)||9,998|
|Michael A. Maturen (write-in)||243|
|Marshall Schoenke (write-in)||3|
|Chris Keniston (write-in)||58|
|Laurence Kotlikoff (write-in)||15|
|Tom Hoefling (write-in)||68|
|Joseph Maldonado (write-in)||3|
|Emidio Soltysik (write-in)||26|
|Scattering (unregistered write-in candidates)||26,002|
CLICK HERE to access the Wisconsin Recount Manual for information about past recounts, including the last statewide recount in 2011 in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.