Racine Co. prepares for Tuesday canvass of votes

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RACINE CO. -- The Racine County Clerk's Office spent Monday, June 11th gearing up for a canvass of votes after the recent recall election. That canvass is expected to get underway early Tuesday morning, June 12th.

In Senate District 21 in Racine County, Democrat John Lehman defeated Republican incumbent Van Wanggaard by fewer than 800 votes. Now, Wanggaard must decide whether he'll ask for a recount.

On Monday, one-by-one, 17 municipal clerks turned in their outstanding absentee ballots -- the last step before Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen canvasses the final results.

"It's a pretty simple process. We just go through the materials from the election just to verify the numbers, as far as the totals that came in for the candidates," Christensen said.

It's not a recount, as officials will not go through every ballot. Instead, they will look at the voting machines to make sure the totals are accurate.

A spokesman for Wanggaard said he's declining interviews until after the canvass. He says the team is waiting for the outcome before deciding its next move.

Lehman also did not make himself available for an interview Monday. He did say over the phone he's confident the canvass will not change the final outcome of the recall election.

In order for the canvass to happen, clerks had to turn in the absentee ballots that were due by Friday, June 8th. The county issued 478, but some were rejected. However, even if all 478 were accepted, it would not be enough to swing the election.

If the canvass turns up problems, that could lead to a possible recount.

"Nothing was reported to me by any of the municipalities or local clerks that they had problems with any of their voting equipment," Christensen said.

After the canvass, Wanggaard has three days to decide whether he'll ask for a recount. Since the margin was greater than half-a-percentage point, the state does not pay for the process. Wanggaard would have to pay out of his own pocket.

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