• WisPolitics


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

 10:04 AM 

Walker's presidential campaign still $140k in debt at end of November

Scott Walker’s presidential campaign still owed $140,635 at the end of November, but sources close to the guv expressed confidence he will meet his goal of paying off the debt by year’s end.

Walker had fundraisers in Philadelphia and New York in late November that were aimed at helping retire his presidential campaign debt. That includes one event at the Hunt & Fish Club in New York that Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended.

But the November report, filed yesterday afternoon, lists only three individual donations posted starting the day of the first event in Philadelphia. That suggests the bulk of the contributions from those fundraisers posted after the end of last month. 

Overall, Walker listed $18,782 in receipts for November, $149,491 in disbursements and $20,616 cash on hand. 

Walker listed more than $1 million in outstanding obligations after he dropped his presidential bid in 2015. He has been chipping away at the remaining debt since then, largely through income from renting his donor lists, while also starting to ramp up fundraising for his state account ahead of a possible re-election bid in 2018.

The latest federal filing shows $17,520 in individual donations and $1,262 from Granite Lists, the New Hampshire firm that’s been renting Walker’s donor lists.

The bulk of his debt was $100,000 he owes FLS Connect, a direct mail firm out of St. Paul, Minn. 

-- By JR Ross


Monday, December 19, 2016

 12:18 PM 

Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes formally cast for Trump, Pence

Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes were formally cast Monday for Donald Trump to become president and Mike Pence vice president.

Several protesters pleaded with electors not to vote for Trump, warning of his ties to Russia and taking other shots at the president-elect.

One man stood up before the vote, holding a sign.

As he was led out, he shouted over his shoulder to the electors, "You’re electing someone who’s going to destroy the world."

Another woman exploded after the voting, yelling at the electors, "This is my America!" with both fists in the air.

The electors continued on unperturbed.

-- By JR Ross


 10:20 AM 

Protesters gather at Capitol ahead of electors' meeting

Protesters gathered at the Capitol today ahead of the meeting of the state’s electors, asking them to “do the right thing” and select someone other than Donald Trump.

They moved in and out of the Capitol to avoid sub-zero temperatures, holding signs asking electors to “please vote your conscience,” saying Trump does not have a mandate and that “this is not OK.”

“This isn’t the season to be quiet,” said Mary Schnelzer, a 56-year old from Madison.

Trump, she said, is the “most inexperienced and dangerous” political candidate to ever be on the ballot. And she said “in my worst dreams” she couldn’t imagine someone as president who’s spoken about women, immigrants and Muslims the way he has.

Most of the protesters were from the liberal group Democracy Spring, though some were part of the Hamilton Electors group that wants a “qualified Republican alternative.”

Joel Besemer, the state organizer for Democracy Spring, acknowledged the difficulty of getting the Republican electors to decline to formally cast Wisconsin's electoral votes for Trump, though he said “miracles can happen.”

Besemer, who runs a homeless shelter in Stevens Point, said they wanted to “tarnish [Trump’s] legitimacy” by pointing out he lost the popular vote.

“You can’t come in talking about a mandate,” Besemer said.

Jim Hudson and his son Daniel came from Wheaton, Ill., Madison is closer to their home than their state Capitol in Springfield.

Daniel Hudson, a 22-year old student at Wheaton College, said he’s bothered by Trump’s “narcissism” and “impulsiveness,” as well as the “racist rhetoric” he displayed throughout the campaign.

And Jim Hudson, a 58-year-old translation consultant, said the Electoral College should be a stopgap against dangerous candidates.

“It’s sort of like the last line of defense,” Jim Hudson said.

-- By Polo Rocha


video


Thursday, December 15, 2016

 4:30 PM 

AG Schimel to seek second term in 2018

GOP AG Brad Schimel told WisPolitics.com today he’ll seek re-election to a second term in 2018, adding he has kept his promise to follow the rule of law and “hold the federal administration at bay.”

Schimel said he also will run on his plan to continuing fighting drug addiction and working to eliminate a backlog of untested sexual assault forensic evidence kits.

Schimel said in the interview he promised voters he wouldn’t substitute his judgment for that of elected legislators and has done that.

“We have gone to court and vigorously battled,” Schimel said. “Sometimes we’ve defended laws vigorously that I don’t necessarily agree with. Because we did our job well, no one’s ever going to know which ones those were.”

See more from the interview in today's PM Update and tomorrow's Report.

-- By JR Ross


 8:54 AM 

Voting machine audits waived for municipalities that conducted hand recount


Local election officials in counties that didn't do a hand recount of their presidential ballots might have a little more work coming their way.

That's if they were selected by the Elections Commission as part of the traditional post-election audit of voting equipment to make sure machines are counting votes accurately. The commission had put that audit on hold as it prepared for the first-ever recount of the state's presidential votes.

With those nearly 3 million votes now recounted, commissioners decided Wednesday to resume the audits.

But on a 4-2 vote, the commission decided to exempt from the audit the municipalities where officials did the recount by hand.

In all, 107 reporting units within municipalities were randomly selected to be part of the audit. And 75 of them either did their recounts by hand and will be exempted from the audit or had already finished it.

That leaves 32 reporting units that will have to continue with the audit because they conducted their recounts using machines. Still, those municipalities will have until Jan. 31 to complete the audits so that they "can have a pleasant holiday" after all their work in the recount, said Commissioner Ann Jacobs.

The audit and recount differ in several ways.

The presidential recount only focused on the top of the ticket and is a more comprehensive review of results within the race, with officials needing to review ballots for voter intent and check poll books, for example. Forty-seven of the state's 72 counties did their recount by hand.

The audit is only about verifying that the equipment is accurately counting ballots, though officials are required to review the results in four races, including the presidential race. And while county officials had a choice on which method they'd use for their recounts, the audits are done entirely by hand.

The commission's action was a compromise between two positions: stopping the audit altogether this year or ensuring all municipalities that were selected would complete it.

Elections Commission staff was "torn" about the right approach, Elections Supervisor Ross Hein said, and wanted to see what the options commission would go with.

Commissioner Julie Glancey proposed the exemption, saying elections officials who did a hand recount went "above and beyond." But the commission, she said, has a responsibility to reassure those who believe the state's voting machines "can be hacked."

"We have a responsibility to make that perfectly clear, and we need to complete the audit," Glancey said. "We're not doing it for us, because everyone in this room knows the machines are fine. We're doing it for the skeptics in the world that think they're not."

Commission Chair Mark Thomsen and Commissioner Steve King voted against the exemption and preferred stopping the audits altogether.

King said the commission represents taxpayers who "would laugh at us" if they knew the state spent money on additional checks of election results following the recount, which took a $3.5 million payment from Jill Stein's campaign to get started.

Thomsen agreed, saying the commission needs to make "decisions that matter in the real world." And even after the audit, he said, they'll still "have the same skeptics that will think this audit is nonsense" and continue to insist the state's voting machines aren't reliable.

Jacobs, though, noted another reason to keep the audit going in areas that didn't do a hand recount. The Legislative Audit Bureau, she said, "came down very hard" on the now-defunct Government Accountability Board for significant delays in completing the audits in the past.

"There's no reason to stick our heads into the mouth of a tiger again," Jacobs said.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

 9:05 PM 

Trump takes victory lap during Wisconsin rally

WEST ALLIS -- President-elect Donald Trump thanked Wisconsin voters and state GOP leaders for helping win the presidency during a large rally Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.

"I'm here for one main reason: to say thank you to the people of Wisconsin," Trump said.

He also took a few shots at Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Democrats over the recount of Wisconsin's presidential vote, saying after millions of dollars were "wasted" and "countless hours" were spent, he gained 131 votes.

"She got less than 1 percent but she thought she was going to catch us," he quipped.

Trump spent a lengthy portion of his speech discussing the weeks preceding the election and the tension on election night, saying the race looked to be going Hillary Clinton's way.

"I thought I lost," Trump said. "I was fine with it. I wasn't great."

But Trump detailed how the dominoes fell, with Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania going his way.

He drew some his loudest applause when he took a few shots at the media, saying they were "devastated" when he won.

The president-elect praised Wisconsin leaders in attendance, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, Gov. Scott Walker, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and  incoming Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus, saying "there's some very good water in this state."

Trump called Walker "a great person and a great governor." The two were at odds ahead of Wisconsin's April presidential primary, which Ted Cruz won. Trump said of Walker ahead of one Wisconsin rally in March, "He's not doing a great job."

"I went against him for a while and he was tough," Trump said Tuesday night.

When Trump mentioned Ryan, who at times had been critical of Trump, he responded to scattered boos by saying he's come to appreciate the Janesville Republican.

"He's like a fine wine," Trump said. "Every day that goes by I get to appreciate his genius more and more."

He said he is going to work with Ryan to cut taxes, repeal Obamacare and build a wall on the southern border.

"We're going to work on the wall, Paul," Trump said to applause.

He credited Walker and Ryan, along with president-elect Mike Pence, who's governor of Indiana, with helping him win Wisconsin, a state he said he wasn't expecting to win

Trump drew loud and frequent applause from large crowd with mentions of strengthening the military, caring for veterans, defeating ISIS, securing the border, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and bringing back jobs lost from what he called bad trade deals.

The crowd at several times broke out into chants of "lock her up" when Trump mentioned Clinton. Trump had called for investigating Clinton and jailing her over her use of a private email server, but has backed off since he's been elected.

"You people are brutal," Trump quipped.

Rally-goers filled most of the area sectioned off in the large venue. At the back of the room was a booth selling Trump t-shirts and other gear. Outside the main room were concession stands selling beverages, soft pretzels and hot dogs.

A small group of protesters stood outside the building in the frigid weather, holding signs and chanting, among other things, "we reject the president-elect."

Pence, who introduced Trump, pumped the crowd up by repeating the president-elect's campaign promises, drawing some of his loudest applause by saying Trump would "repeal every unconstitutional executive order signed by President Obama."

Walker thanked voters for their work in electing one of the largest GOP legislative majorities in state history and for helping send Trump to the White House.

"You helped change America," Walker said.

Ryan also thanked voters, and drew loud applause when he pledged to repeal Obamacare.

Referencing the recount, Priebus asked the crowd to loud applause, "How does it feel to win? How does it feel to win twice?"

-- By David Wise


Monday, December 12, 2016

 3:15 PM 

Elections Commission: Recount affirms Trump win in Wisconsin, adds 131 votes to his lead over Clinton

The Elections Commission says a recount of the nearly 3 million votes cast in Wisconsin's presidential race affirmed Donald Trump's win and expanded his margin of victory over Hillary Clinton.

The 72-county recount, requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, added 131 votes to Trump's margin. The agency, which certified the results of the recount late this afternoon, had earlier said Trump added 162 votes to his margin but revised the figure.

The final numbers show Trump got 1,405,284 votes, while Clinton got 1,382,536.

That means he upped his lead to 22,748 during the recount, up from the original canvass results of 22,617.

Elections Commission Chair Mark Thomsen said the recount gave election officials a “complete audit” of its system. And the fact that the recount showed few discrepancies is “amazing,” he said.

“That is accuracy, and that’s what we offer in Wisconsin,” Thomsen said.

Thomsen noted the commission “found no evidence of any hack,” which Stein had raised as a major possibility in requesting the recount.

Stein said in a news release the recount flagged several issues that “bear further assessment and serious action.”

She said the campaign was still disappointed that not all the counties decided on doing a hand recount, which “undermined the ability to get an accurate result.” The recount, she said, wasn’t about changing the outcome. Rather, it was “about validating the vote and restoring confidence in our voting system.”

“The recount in Wisconsin raised a number of important election integrity issues that bear further assessment and serious action to ensure we have integrity and confidence in our electoral system,” she said.

Stein’s campaign paid $3.5 million for the recount to kick off, though she’ll get a refund if the costs came in below that figure and will have to pay extra if the costs went over.

Elections Commision Administrator Mike Haas said the commission has asked county clerks to submit the actual costs they incurred by Dec. 30. If the agency needs to refund any money to Stein’s campaign, it needs to do so by Jan. 12, he added.

-- By Polo Rocha

Editor's note: This post has been updated throughout. 


 12:39 PM 

Elections Commission to certify presidential recount results today

The Elections Commission today will certify results from the recount of Wisconsin's presidential vote.

Local election officials faced an 8 p.m. deadline today to finish the tally. The commission said all 72 counties wrapped up their work today, clearning the way for the certification.

The state faces a Tuesday deadline to certify its presidential results to the federal government.

-- By Staff


 10:59 AM 

Ethics Commission member resigns, says structure ensures 'nothing will get enforced'

A Dem appointee to the state Ethics Commission is resigning today, saying it’s become apparent the body won’t regulate campaign finance laws adequately.

Robert Kinney, who made the announcement in a news release, told WisPolitics.com in a phone interview he’s sending resignation letters to Gov. Scott Walker and Commission Chair Peg Lautenschlager. He said the commission, which is made up of partisan appointees, is set up in a way that will ensure “nothing will get enforced.”

“It isn’t going to work, because the membership appears to me to be unwilling to concentrate on enforcement in a nonpartisan way,” said Kinney, a former Oneida County circuit judge.

During its closed session last week, the commission dismissed a complaint the ADCC filed against the RACC after the GOP committee did not file a campaign finance report for the pre-primary period.

Kinney said he couldn’t comment on that decision or whether it contributed to his resignation.

But he pointed to an October vote from three commissioners to remove the words “furthering Wisconsin’s tradition of clean and open government” from the commission’s mission statement.

The commission split 3-3 on that vote, effectively keeping that language in the commission’s annual report because it didn’t get the required four votes. GOP appointee Pat Strachota, a former state rep, joined Kinney and another Dem appointee on that vote. One of the Dem appointees, David Halbrooks, voted with two GOP appointees to remove that language.

“When you want to take out Wisconsin’s tradition of clean and open government, to me, that’s a frightening prospect, and it shows that there’s either no commitment to or a misunderstanding of the purpose of this agency,” he said.

See the release

-- By Polo Rocha

Editor's note: This post has been updated to clarify the results of the October vote.


Friday, December 9, 2016

 9:38 AM 

Federal judge rejects request to halt presidential results recount

A federal judge this morning rejected a request to halt the recount of nearly 3 million ballots cast in Wisconsin's presidential race.

Judge James Peterson told lawyers for Great America PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC, both of which back Donald Trump, their request to stop the recount was "so clearly unwarranted" and there's never been indication it's flawed.

“It is crystal to me that I don’t have the basis for stopping the recount,” Peterson said.

The PACs raised concerns in their suit the recount could push past the deadline to certify Wisconsin’s election results so its 10 electoral votes could be cast for Trump. But the state’s top election official expressed confidence after the hearing the recount would wrap up by Monday’s deadline.

The state Elections Commission said yesterday that with 82 percent of the ballots already recounted, Hillary Clinton had only gained 61 votes, far from overcoming Trump’s original lead of 22,177.

Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas told reporters after the hearing the case “did not seem like a close call to us in the first place” and that election officials are in the “home stretch” of finishing the recount.

“We’re happy that there was not an additional complication thrown in at the end,” he said.

Counties face a deadline of 8 p.m. Monday to submit their recount results to the Elections Commission, though Haas says the state’s 72 counties will all meet that deadline and that most have already done so. The next day, the state faces a federal deadline to certify the results. And the following Monday, Wisconsin’s 10 electors are scheduled to meet to cast their votes for Trump.

The pro-Trump groups said the timeline left “very little margin for error in case problems arise” in any of the counties that haven’t yet wrapped up their recount. That would not leave enough time to file a lawsuit if a problem arises. There’s “little need” for the recount to continue since the results so far have “simply confirmed the accuracy” of the election night outcome, they said.

They also argued Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who requested the recount, should “not be permitted to attempt to unilaterally destroy” the chances for Wisconsin’s electoral college votes counting by filing a lawsuit that could hold up the results.

“This Court should not allow a candidate who received 1 percent of the vote to inject such baseless uncertainty and doubt onto the results and legitimacy of the election,” they wrote in a brief filed ahead of today’s hearing.

A lawyer for the state DOJ, representing the Elections Commission, called that a “hypothetical concern” and asked Peterson to let the recount wrap up.

“It is on time. It is going smoothly,” DOJ attorney Mike Murphy said.

Peterson agreed, saying that even if someone appeals the recount results, the state’s electoral votes will still get counted and the legal process would continue later.

“It wouldn’t stop the Electoral College from electing Mr. Trump as the president. … The country would continue to proceed, Mr. Trump would take office, and that would be fine, and then we would continue if there were an appeal,” Peterson said.

Peterson rejected the pro-Trump groups’ request for an injunction blocking the recount, adding  he may dismiss it for a lack of standing in the coming days.

Debra Greenberger, a Stein attorney, told reporters after the hearing the campaign was “very pleased” with Peterson’s decision.

And Haas, the Elections Commission administrator, said any lawsuit that happens after the recount wraps up is “really out of our control at that point.”

The recount, he said, will be a “positive learning experience” and has flagged several minor issues that the commission will then use to train the state’s 1,854 municipal clerks and 72 county clerks.

“It’s been a huge inconvenience, of course, for clerks,” Haas said. “It’s been a challenge, but the last five years, we’ve seen our state and local election officials step up to every challenge and get things done. So I’m really pleased and proud.”

-- By Polo Rocha

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout. 


Thursday, December 8, 2016

 3:07 PM 

Trump to visit West Allis Tuesday as part of victory tour

President-elect Donald Trump has added a stop in West Allis on Tuesday as part of his victory tour thanking states he won in the November election.

The event, which also will include Vice President-elect Mike Pence, will be at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, where Trump had planned to rally the Sunday before the election. But he canceled that stop the day before and went to Minnesota instead.

See details.

-- By JR Ross


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

 2:50 PM 

With 70 percent of recount done, Clinton's picked up 82 votes

With 70 percent of the state’s ballots recounted, Hillary Clinton has gained only 82 votes on Donald Trump, according to the latest figures from the state Elections Commission.

The agency says there’s been “relatively few totals changed” as election officials across the state continue their recount of nearly 3 million votes. Most of the changes, the agency says, have been “due to human error.”

So far, Trump has gained 410 votes, while Clinton has picked up 492 votes. The original results had Trump up by 22,177.

The statewide tally of recount figures doesn’t include the city of Milwaukee, as it’s recounting absentee ballots separately.

The agency says 34 counties have wrapped up their recounts and submitted their results and that rest of the state’s 72 counties are on track to wrap up by Monday’s deadline of 8 p.m.

-- By Polo Rocha


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

 9:51 AM 

Morgan named state GOP executive director

State GOP Chair Brad Courtney today formally installed Mark Morgan as the party's new executive director.

Morgan has assumed the post on an interim basis after Mike Duffey left for Washington, D.C., where he is now part of Donald Trump's transition team for Defense.

Morgan served in a dual role this year as political director for the state party and the RNC's state director. He was deputy political director for the Wisconsin GOP during the 2014 cycle.

-- By JR Ross


Saturday, December 3, 2016

 1:40 PM 

Courtney re-elected state GOP chair

Brad Courtney was unanimously re-elected chair of the state GOP on Saturday, a party spokesman said.

The party's executive committee unanimously approved another two-year term for Courtney, who has overseen the party since 2011. He took after Reince Priebus left the post to head the RNC. 

Courtney, who was unopposed, also held the job from 2006-07. 

-- By JR Ross


Friday, December 2, 2016

 6:15 PM 

Shilling wins by 61 votes in 32nd SD after recount

Senate Minority Leader Shilling edged Republican Dan Kapanke by 61 votes in the 32nd SD, according to final numbers from the state Elections Commission.

The figures show Shilling, D-La Crosse, increased her lead by a net of five votes during the recount, as she had finished the county canvasses with a 56-vote lead. Kapanke conceded to Shilling in a statement this afternoon.

Shilling won La Crosse County with a 2,977-vote advantage but lost in the three smaller counties in the district. Kapanke won Crawford County by 649 votes, Vernon County by 813 votes and Monroe County by 1,454 votes.

-- By Polo Rocha


 4:09 PM 

Federal judge rejects request to immediately halt recount

A federal judge today rejected a request from two pro-Donald Trump groups looking to immediately stop the recount of the nearly 3 million votes Wisconsinites cast in the presidential race.

But U.S. Judge James Peterson didn’t turn away the entire case and will hold a hearing Dec. 9 to hear arguments.

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

In an order this afternoon, Peterson decided to take the plaintiffs’ submissions as a request for a preliminary injunction, which he intends to rule on at the Dec. 9 hearing. The state Elections Commission, which is listed as a defendant in the case, has a brief due on Wednesday.

And he wrote Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who requested the recount, would have to file a motion by Wednesday if she wants to intervene in the case, which her campaign said she intends to do.

But Peterson denied the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order blocking the recount, saying they made “no showing that they will be irreparably harmed” if the recount continues while he considers the broader arguments against it.

Blocking the recount, he wrote, would also “very likely prevent defendants from completing the recount by the deadline.”

The case was originally supposed to go to Judge Barbara Crabb, though she recused herself.

-- By Polo Rocha


 12:43 PM 

State Dem Party hires AFSCME political director to take over as executive director

The state Dem Party today formally announced the hiring of Jason Sidener, political director for AFSCME, to become its next executive director starting Jan. 1.

Sidener will replace Kory Kozloski, who is leaving the job to pursue other opportunities outside Wisconsin.

Sidener has spent the last 13 years with AFSCME, including his current role as director political action and member mobilization. He also worked for then-U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin's 2002 congressional campaign.

The party's administrative committee voted today to approve Sidener's hire.

-- By JR Ross


 12:24 PM 

Shilling says recount upholds win over Kapanke

Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, says a recount has upheld her victory over Republican Dan Kapanke in the 32nd SD.

Shilling said she hoped to "put this election behind us and continue moving forward on the issues that working families are concerned about. It’s time to get to work strengthening our schools, investing in infrastructure and expanding economic opportunities in our state."

Kapanke, who lost a 2011 recall election to Shilling, congratulated his Dem opponent, saying she will "represent all of the voters in the 32nd" when she returns to Madison.

"I requested this recount to ensure that each and every vote that was cast was recorded correctly and fairly. This recount has ensured that," Kapanke said.

Shilling lost two votes in Crawford County, increasing Kapanke's lead there to 649 votes.

In Vernon County, Shilling had a net gain of 7 votes after picking up 24 votes while Kapanke gained 17. Kapanke finished with a 813-vote lead in the county, according to County Clerk Ron Hoff.

In the parts of Monroe County that include the 32nd SD, Kapanke finished with a 1,454-vote lead. He lost six votes during the recount, while Shilling lost one, according to County Clerk Shelley Bohl.

The La Crosse County clerk did not immediately respond to a request for an update on the final numbers. 

-- By JR Ross

Editor's note: This post has been updated with Kapanke's statement and numbers from the counties. 


 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. 


Thursday, December 1, 2016

 5:08 PM 

Recount Day 1: Menominee County wraps up recount work

Menominee County wrapped up its work on the recount of the presidential results today, adding votes to the totals for Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green candidate Jill Stein.

According to an update from the Elections Commission, Menominee County said Johnson added 12 votes and Stein 17 that weren't included in the initial tally due to human error. For both, the original count showed them receiving zero votes.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump lost two votes, while Hillary Clinton dropped one.

See the update.
-- By Staff


 8:22 AM 

As recount begins, 49 counties plan hand tally

County boards of canvassers across the state will meet this morning as they embark on a recount of the nearly 3 million votes cast in Wisconsin's presidential race.

The Elections Commission says some counties have decided to change the method they will use to conduct the recount. Now, 49 plan to do it by hand, 13 will use optical scanners and 10 plan to use a combination of the two.

During a meeting Wednesday, Elections Commission staff told clerks:

*they will be required to do daily reports on vote tallies, which will be posted at the commission website to show any changes.

*clerks will have to detail changes of more than 10 votes.

*anyone can attend the recount, but only primary representatives of the candidates can view ballots and make changes.

The clerks also were encouraged to closely track their costs. The Elections Commission has said the recount is expected to cost $3.9 million. But Stein's campaign will be on the hook for anything that goes beyond that estimate.


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