When she filed her challenge to Wisconsin’s election results, failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein apparently assumed that the recount of votes would be done by hand. But state officials decided that counties will not be forced to undertake a hand recount of ballots. Now Stein is suing the state to force a hand recount.
State officials reported that the recount effort will begin on December 1 in a race against time to meet the December 12 deadline to confirm the state’s vote tally for electors to be eligible for inclusion in the final Electoral College vote. Officials also said that no recount will occur at all unless Stein pays the $3.5 million recount fee ahead of that time, the Journal Sentinel reports.
The Wisconsin Election Commission reported on November 25 that Stein had successfully filed her challenge to the results.
The Commission has received the Stein and Del La Fuente recount petitions. Details and news release posted soon at https://t.co/N3TrlOIqE1.
— Wisconsin Elections (@WI_Elections) November 25, 2016
But instead of a full recount by hand, officials decided a machine recount will suffice and county officials will not be required to count by hand — though they can if they wish to do so. This means that instead of inspecting and counting each vote by hand, the optical readouts will simply be re-fed through the machines for a recount to be tallied mechanically.
Wisconsin Elections Commission chairman Mark Thomsen, a Democrat, cited the 2011 hand recount that changed a mere 300 votes out of 1.5 million as the basis for his ruling that machine recounting was sufficient to satisfy Stein’s recount petition.
Thomsen said he doubted that any recount would close the more than 22,000 vote gap Hillary would need to overtake and beat current state winner and President-elect Donald J. Trump.
The six-member commission Thomsen heads is equally split between Democrats and Republicans and voted unanimously to proceed with a machine recount.
Wisconsin’s voting machines are not connected to the Internet so it is highly unlikely that any hacking of the Badger State’s vote could have occurred, according to the Election Commission
Stein, though, has proclaimed the machine-based recount a violation of her petition. Consequently, the former presidential candidate who won less than 2 percent of the national vote filed a suit in Dane County, Wisconsin, to force a hand recount.
“We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system,” the Green Party candidate said in a statement.
Stein has reportedly raised over $7 million for the recounts she wants to foster in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, but the source of that money has remained unexplained.
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