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Friday, June 29, 2012

 4:11 PM 

Discussions over handling of ballot bags continue in 21st SD recount

The ongoing recount in the 21st SD continued to include discussions about the handling of ballot bags, according to those watching the proceedings today.

Four chief inspectors from the affected wards came in Thursday to answer questions about the improperly sealed bags, and several more came in today, said Justin Phillips, campaign manager for incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine.

In one of the cases discussed today, Phillips said the ballot bag was sealed with packaging tape. The inspector, he said, acknowledged not sealing the bag well, but did not recall using any packaging tape to seal the bag.

Phillips said the campaign is attempting to reach out the deputy clerk from the city of Racine to get more answers.

Zac Kramer, executive director of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, said apart from inspectors coming in to testify, the recount today is moving along normally.

He also expressed skepticism over Republican allegations of impropriety, and Dems have charged Republicans are trying to disenfranchise voters.

The Wanggaard campaign also has a standing objection to ballots handed out in which voters, mostly same-day registrants, did not sign the poll books. Phillips said the number of cases in which this happened is unclear at this point, but estimated it to be in the mid-one hundreds.

As of Thursday evening, 18 of Racine's 36 wards remained to be recounted in the district. Wanggaard had gained a net total of 20 votes as he looks to overcome an 834-vote deficit to Dem John Lehman following the canvass of the June 5 election.

According the latest totals from the Government Accountability Board, Wanggaard had gained 24 votes over the initial canvass while Lehman had gained four votes.

The deadline for finishing the recount is Monday.

-- By David Wise


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