Presidential recount: Jill Stein sues to force hand count of ballots; estimated cost $3.5M

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MADISON --Wisconsin charged back into the national spotlight on Monday, November 28th as it became the first state to set out a timeline for a recount in the presidential race, although the process is now subject to a legal fight.

First, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein must pay $3.5 million to the Wisconsin Elections Commission by Tuesday in order to trigger a recount. Stein received only 1 percent out of nearly 3 million votes cast in the state, far below the threshold for a taxpayer-funded recount.

CLICK HERE to view the lawsuit filed by Jill Stein of the Green Party

Stein on Monday sued the Elections Commission in Dane County Circuit Court, asking a judge to force county clerks to recount all ballots by hand instead of using voting machines. Earlier in the day, the commission had rejected Stein's request for a hand count.

County clerks are expecting to start recounting votes on Thursday, December 1st as required by the Elections Commission. They will race to meet a federally mandated December 13th deadline to have the results certified.

The Elections Commission on Monday set the cost estimate for the recount at $3.5 million. It is triple the initial estimate that some observers had predicted, although the Stein campaign has said it has fundraised enough money to pay for the Wisconsin recount.

CLICK HERE for a spreadsheet outlining the cost estimate by county.

"It`s going to reassure Wisconsin voters that we have a fair system, that we`re not counting illegal votes, we`re not counting dead people`s votes," Mark Thomsen, chairman of the Elections Commission, during a special meeting to approve the timeline.

Here's the timeline established on Monday:

  • 4:30 p.m. Monday: Wisconsin Elections Commission will provide estimated recount fee to the petitioning candidates. (Now set at $3.5 million.)
  • 4:30 p.m. Tuesday: Petitioning candidates (Stein or an independent candidate who also requested a recount, Rocky De La Fuente, must pay recount fee in full.)
  • 10:00 a.m. Wednesday: Elections Commission will hold a teleconference with clerks about the recount process.
  • Thursday, Dec. 1: Commission wants the recount to begin in all 72 counties.
  • Monday, Dec. 12: Commission wants county clerks to submit recount results by 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13: Commission will meet to certify results by federally mandated deadline.
Wisconsin Elections Commission

Wisconsin Elections Commission

As it stands, county clerks are allowed to conduct recount by hand or by machine. That would change only if Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn orders clerks to do a hand recount.

Milwaukee County's clerk said he plans to use voting machines because of the time-intensive and costly nature of hand counting. But Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said he's not waiting around and plans to count every vote by hand.

"The accusation being made is that the machines were hacked. The benefit of a hand count is that you show that`s false," McDonell said. "We`ll be working 12-hour days through the weekends until we`re done, whenever that is."

Wisconsin Elections Commission fields questions regarding presidential recount

Wisconsin Elections Commission discusses timeline for presidential recount

As it stands, President-elect Donald Trump has a 22,177-vote lead over Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin.

"If a recount contest is not completed by (December) 13th, federal law provides that Congress is not required to honor the slate of electors chosen to represent that state," said Michael Haas, Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator.

Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton

Elections officials on Monday rejected claims that Wisconsin's voting machines were hacked. They said since the machines are not connected to the internet, a series of break-ins or an inside job would be the only way to tamper with them.

Governor Scott Walker on Monday blasted the recount in a series of tweets:

Officials with the Republican Party of Wisconsin have called the recount "ridiculous," echoing Mr. Trump, but said they'll fully participate in the process.

Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton's general counsel said the campaign would also participate in recounts triggered by Stein, although Clinton's campaign has found no evidence of hacking.

Thomsen, who was appointed to the Elections Commission by Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca, saved his toughest talk for Mr. Trump. The president-elect, in a series of weekend tweets, continued to say there was fraud in the elections system without providing evidence of it.

"To say it’s not being fair or people are counting illegal votes, from my vantage point, is an insult to the people that run our elections," Thomsen said.


The Democratic Party of Wisconsin issued this statement:

"We respect the Stein campaign's request for a recount under state law. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has not yet been asked by any campaign to assist in the recount process, but we will be monitoring the results of the recount once it begins on Thursday."

Both sides will be allowed to have representatives in the room while the ballots are counted, to contest any irregularities.

Stein on Monday filed for a recount in Pennsylvania and will ask for a recount in Michigan later this week. Stein also got tiny fractions of the vote in those states.

Jill Stein

Jill Stein

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.


  • Liberal cry babies get their feelings hurt

    I’m sure the liberals will use their own common core (liberal math) to try to win and election they’ve already lost. Pretty pathetic. I guess all of those dead people and illegals they used to try to bolster their numbers didn’t work out too well for them. You lost liberals, GET OVER IT and go change your dirty diapers!

  • confused

    omg where I live President Elect Trump WON 3 to 1. We are strongly Republican in this spot of 700 people. Always have been. Good thing green party is paying. The taxpayers would surely revolt. Pitchforks and torches for sure! Our 700 put up with HUGE health insurance increases, criminals migrating/ trying to hide from Milwaukee law (found out it does NOT work), and the ever dividing PC hooey for 8 long years. We were so happy that things could possibly get better for us. This is sad. Instead of going into my safe room and bubbling while blubbering, working out my playdough, I will go to WORK, ever still funding the assistance driven society.

  • confused

    Thursday, Dec. 1: Commission wants the recount to begin in all 72 counties. Help ! has a story that recounting has already begun in the western counties of WI. That’s too soon, where are the observers?? Fox 6 PLEASE look into this. Please!


      You DO realize that FOX6 is completely run by liberal crybaby snowflakes right? Do you honestly believe they would assist to any FAIR counts? They are in the liberal pockets and have only liberal interest at heart, they could care less about a FAIR count of anything. They are not FOX NEWS and do not even deserve the FOX name, proven time and time again.


        Start reading and researching the various stories on FOX6 yourself instead of continuing to be spoon-fed their liberal propaganda nonsense. I’m not going to sit here and do the research for you either, but here’s a few pointers: There are a ton of stories that show their liberal leanings – everything from the “Spread love, not hate” article, pandering to the liberals at Reagan high school to the deliberate focus on “racist graffiti” articles that blame Trump supporters, but yet failed to mention that they caught the ones doing the graffiti and they were liberals who were trying to make Trump supporters look bad, to their constant flow of articles trying to throw Walker under the bus at every opportunity, yet don’t focus on the amazing amount of positive he’s done for the state. The list goes on tootsie, it’s a long list going back many years.. just check out some of the articles they did on the recall election and see where their focus is. Maybe you should start paying more attention to what’s going on around you.

  • hell in a handbasket

    two possibilities behind this.
    1. Liberals have had 3 weeks now to stuff the ballot box with fictitious ballots in Milwaukee, Madison, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
    2.Jill Stein is just lining her pockets with donor money. Perhaps she should have started a go fund me site instead.

  • Liberal Hypocrisy

    As always with Leftists, the ends justify the means. They operate without conscious or rule, only results. The desired result can’t be finding hacking or fraud. They know that is not possible. It is to only cast shadows and doubt on the election. “Trump is not a legitimate President” is the goal. The good news for the rest of the country is that they are clearly on to the shenanigans. I want them to keep acting like this as it continues to tattoo their true colors all over them.

  • grunt

    Way to continue to motivate the silent majority that won Trump the election.
    This kind of looks like the recall saga.

    • Liberal tears are so tasty

      Yup! And sadly enough that recall election cost us taxpayers millions and was never paid back by the few liberal cry babies that wanted it in the first place. With all of their sore-loser antics they are most definitely solidifying Trump being in office for a full 8 years! Keep it up liberals, you are doing nothing but solidifying our voting decisions.

  • marcus wilson

    i am gonna sue i want my 1% increased i want Hillary I want my rattle I want my bottle and the beat goes on. Any guess if this ends up in the Wisconsin Supreme Court ? After all the libbys are going to file in Dane and let a municiple judge rule a presidential recount delay tactics, rile up liberal base try to delay findings to electoral college. oh i know the play book

  • chris

    What a waste of time, money and clogging of the judicial system. Then again this is the same political party who is mourning the death of Castro. Moonbats sure are stupid.

  • Libsareliars

    Reminds of 2000 in Florida. They want to recount the recount how many times. The libtards are total morons who can never accept defeat.

  • hell in a handbasket

    Well now that the Hildabeast has jumped on this train hopefully when this is said and done President Trump will prosecute this hag for espionage and sheer stupidity.

  • deletedagain

    So can there be a recount of the party nomination between Clinton and Sanders? Their own party didn’t think that was on the level.

  • liberty

    This is what they are trying to accomplish: “If a recount contest is not completed by (December) 13th, federal law provides that Congress is not required to honor the slate of electors chosen to represent that state,” said Michael Haas, Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator. Just another way to cheat the system. Just like they did to Bernie.

    • Opinion8d

      Out of all the comments – you are clearly on point!!! The Democrats will do anything to put the election in limbo…they would rather push this to the courts (favorable states) if they think they could have an impact. They know they lost, but thanks to the MSM, they can push this ‘angle of concern’ with the regular vote and hope to override it in the courts!

      • confused

        omg ! a round about way of cheating, freaking dems. Wait, what if new and even more electoral votes go to President Elect Trump and he gets even MORE, can that happen, new electors can be chosen and they are even more for President Elect Trump? I hope if the count doesn’t make it new electorals are chosen and love The Donald. It would serve dems right. CA gets 55 of those votes-it takes 4-5 midwest states to = CA.

  • Liberal Hypocrisy

    She said she is doing this to ensure Wisconsin voters that their votes counted. Um………..why isn’t she doing this in say Minnesota? The vote was closer there than here. They continue to think people are stupid (well Leftists are) and will buy into this charade.

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