What’s next in the Wisconsin recount

Greg Nash

Wisconsin will officially recount its presidential ballots as soon as this week as Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein pushes for recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan as well.

Scrutiny of the results there comes as President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday cast doubt on the overall popular vote tally.

{mosads}“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump, who trails Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by more than 2 million in the popular vote, declared Sunday on Twitter.

There is no evidence to support Trump’s accusation of widespread illegal voting; Stein’s recount effort cites concerns that voting systems in the three states were not secure.

The Badger State’s recount is up against the clock, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, facing a Dec. 13 deadline. 

Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas told the Sentinel that a recount by hand for the state’s 10 electoral votes would require an order from a judge and would be a lengthier process.

Stein’s representatives insist it must be done by hand and that the campaign is prepared to go to court if the state cannot meet the deadline. 

“Doing the recount by hand is the only way to ensure we have a reliable recount of the vote,” said a spokesperson for the Stein recount effort.

“We are confident the hand counting can be done by December 13,” Stein campaign manager David Cobb said in a statement provided to The Hill. “If for some reason WI needs more time to count the ballots, we are prepared litigate this question in the courts to ensure a proper and full counting of all the votes.”

Stein’s campaign announced its fundraising efforts for a recount last week and officially filed the request in Wisconsin on Friday, the deadline in the state.

Clinton’s campaign said Saturday it would participate in the recount, which Trump has said will not change the results of the election.

Haas said in a statement that “county boards of canvassers” will conduct the recounts and will probably need to work nights and weekends to meet the Dec. 13 federal deadline.

Electors will meet on Dec. 19 to cast their votes for the Electoral College.

“You may potentially have the state electoral votes at stake if it doesn’t get done by then,” Haas told the Sentinel, referring to the Dec. 13 deadline. 

Haas noted that “Wisconsin has the most decentralized election system” in the country.

“The system has strong local control coupled with state oversight, resting on the partnership between the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the 72 county clerks, and the 1,854 municipal clerks,” he said. “State law clearly gives each county’s Board of Canvassers the primary authority to conduct the recount, and to decide which ballots should and should not be counted.” 

An election law expert at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University echoed Haas’s concerns, telling the Sentinel that the Dec. 19 date is “a hard deadline.” 

“That is a hard deadline and if a state were to miss that deadline, it would be technically in jeopardy of not having its electoral votes counted,” Edward Foley told the newspaper.

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