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Friday, December 2, 2016

 10:04 AM 

Trump supporters file lawsuit looking to stop Wisconsin recount

A group of Donald Trump supporters has filed a federal lawsuit looking to stop the Wisconsin recount of presidential votes that kicked off yesterday.

But Green Party candidate Jill Stein's campaign, which requested the recount, says it's planning to intervene in the lawsuit to keep the recount going.

The plaintiffs, which include the Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC, argue the state's recount process violates the Equal Protection Clause because ballots will be treated differently across the state.

“The absence of sufficient standards to ensure that identically marked ballots are afforded equal treatment, both within a county and across counties, means that the recount cannot proceed in a manner that satisfies the Equal Protection Clause,” the lawsuit argues.

The recount began yesterday at Stein's request, and the lawsuit says it's one of the "baseless recounts sought by a candidate who did not win a single presidential elector."

But Stein lawyer Matthew D. Brinckerhoff says the campaign "plans to intervene and join the Wisconsin Elections Commission in defending the recount."

"Citizens in Wisconsin and across the country have made it clear that they want a recount and deserve to see this process through to ensure integrity in the vote," he said.

The state Elections Commission, which is listed as the defendant, tweeted shortly after the news that the "recount will continue unless a judge orders otherwise. Keep counting!"

And Johnny Koremenos, a spokesman for the state Department of Justice, said the agency was reviewing the lawsuit.

The lawsuit argues state law “provides no guidance for elections officials” looking to determine the “intent of the voter” in a ballot. It cites the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore that such “arbitrary and disparate treatment” of ballots violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

There isn’t enough time, the lawsuit adds, for state officials to make new rules prior to the safe harbor deadline of Dec. 13.

The lawsuit also argues the recount violates the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because rushing to meet that deadline means “an unreasonable risk of error will be introduced into the process.”

-- By Polo Rocha

This post has been updated with additional details. 


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