Election Recount to Begin in Wisconsin Following Green Party Petition, Officials Say

Wisconsin accepted Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s petition for a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States, state officials said Friday. The recount is expected to begin late next week.

“The Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States, as requested by these candidates,” Wisconsin Election Commission’s Administrator Michael Haas said in a statement.

The state’s election commission is still waiting to receive a cost estimate from county clerks to calculate the fee that Stein’s campaign will have to pay before the start of the recount, but Haas anticipates the recount will begin next week after the fee is paid.

Wisconsin accepted Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s petition for a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States, state officials said Friday. The recount is expected to begin late next week.

“The Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States, as requested by these candidates,” Wisconsin Election Commission’s Administrator Michael Haas said in a statement.

The state’s election commission is still waiting to receive a cost estimate from county clerks to calculate the fee that Stein’s campaign will have to pay before the start of the recount, but Haas anticipates the recount will begin next week after the fee is paid.

Stein announced that she intends to mount a legal challenge to re-examine the vote totals in three states, including Wisconsin, that performed differently than polling suggested they would on Election Day. The other two states are Michigan, where NBC News has yet to officially call a winner, and Pennsylvania.

Stein’s Wisconsin filing came about an hour and a half before the afternoon deadline. Her campaign said Friday that it had surpassed its initial fundraising goal to fund the recount effort and crossed the $4 million mark.

Costs are likely to be steep. In Wisconsin alone, past statewide recounts for a non-presidential year cost more than $520,000, according to an incomplete survey carried out by the Associated Press in the wake of a contested Supreme Court election in 2011. Nearly double the number of voters turned out to the polls this year compared to the previous recount election, Haas said. In addition, Wisconsin officials would need to scramble to finish the recount by the federal Dec. 13 deadline.

“The recount process is very detail-oriented, and this deadline will certainly challenge some counties to finish on time,” Haas said in the statement.

The Michigan and Pennsylvania recount deadline dates are next week.

While Stein said her initial fundraising goal was $2.5 million, her campaign website now says she’s trying to net $7 million, which would pay for the fees for filing costs, attorneys and statewide recount observers.

President-elect Donald Trump still holds narrow leads in all three states, and his victories in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin provided him with the Electoral College advantage he needed to win the presidency.

However, reports of irregularities in the vote count — brought to light by a collection of scientists and activists — along with concerns over whether Russia may have attempted to influence the results and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s historic and growing popular vote victory, have provided the momentum and emotion behind this admittedly long-shot fight to force a recount.

Related: How Would a Contested Election Work? Five Things to Know

“After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many American to wonder if our election results are reliable. These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified.” Stein said in a Wednesday statement. “We deserve elections we can trust.”

For its part, the Clinton campaign, which stands to benefit the most from overturned election results, has remained quiet on Stein’s crusade. Two advocates for a recount, lawyer John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, did attempt to lobby members of her team to back the effort during a conference call last week, but were rebuffed.

“There’s either a huge subset of hidden voters that didn’t tell pollsters how they were going to vote, or something went awry with those voting systems. If we can X out that second option, why not,” a source who was privy to conversations with the Clinton camp recently told NBC News.

The Clinton campaign was reportedly unmoved because there have no been widespread reports of fraud or vote tampering. Many experts believe that the real culprit behind the polling disparities in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania was an unmotivated Democratic base, which failed to turn out in full force on Election Day.

The Trump campaign has also been dismissive of Stein’s actions, with the president-elect’s aide, Kellyanne Conway, mocking the Green Party candidate’s supporters on Twitter:

Still, Stein’s push is moving forward and she is up against the clock. With Wisconsin’s Friday deadline, Stein has said the initial $2.5 million she raised will cover that effort.

Further funding will be redirected to Michigan, where the filing cost will be $600,000 and the challenge deadline is Monday, and Pennsylvania, where the filing cost is $500,000 and the deadline is Wednesday.

Some critics have expressed skepticism about whether the money donated to Stein will really finance a recount effort, or will simply amount to a replenished war chest for the Green Party, which failed to reach the 5 percent threshold in the popular vote that could have led to federal funding in future elections.

The fine print on her website tells donors that she cannot guarantee that a recount will happen and that any surplus money raised will go towards “election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.” All of their money has come from private citizens, the Green Party does not accept corporate donations.

A recount would mean a hand-counting of ballots, including those from electronic machines, which are the ones most in dispute, and experts believe it is highly unlikely that the process would overturn enough votes to help Clinton reduce her deficits.

One thought on “Election Recount to Begin in Wisconsin Following Green Party Petition, Officials Say

  • November 26, 2016 at 3:47 am
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    What this crooked woman is trying to pull off is nothing more than a scram to raise millions of dollars for her own use. She wants to fill up her own bank account along with her closest buddies by pretending to demand a recount. Because I watched the polls that showed her at times running only 3% sometimes 4%. She never gained in the polls at all, she started out very low with none of the voters having any interest in what she had to say. The only thing they might come up with is a lot of dead people voting or more illegal aliens voting, that’s possible.

    Another thing, I think Romney is bad news because I saw part of his rants against Mr.Trump, I don’t believe he is honest about wanting to smoke the peace pipe as our Indian tribes used to say. He wants to pretend to be the good guy when in reality he’s after a future Presidency himself. Whenever he is around he will be looking for anything to make note of to use against Mr.Trump when Mr. Trump runs for reelection in four years. If it was me I wouldn’t even give him a reason why another person was chosen. I know there are other more experienced people waiting in the wings that could very easily handle the job. So far, I like all of the people that have been picked because there is a need for experienced military leaders in order to know how to defeat the terrorists trying to take over the Middle East as well as infiltrate the U.S.

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