Republican state Sen. Van Wanggaard decided not to go to court to challenge his recall election loss, effectively conceding the race Tuesday to his challenger and giving Democrats at least a temporary majority in the Wisconsin Senate. Wanggaard, of Racine, lost to Democrat John Lehman by 819 votes, or about 1.1 percent of the nearly 72,000 ballots cast. Wanggaard had demanded a recount, which affirmed his loss. That left Wanggaard with two choices: File a challenge by Tuesday or concede the race. His campaign chose not to challenge, clearing the way for state election officials to certify the race Wednesday morning and make the outcome official.
Articles about voting issues in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin: Investigating, fixing Nickolaus election errors to cost Wisconsin county $256,300 | JSOnline
A consultant’s report traces problems in reporting Waukesha County election results directly to mistakes by outgoing County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus – mistakes that will cost county taxpayers more than a quarter of a million dollars to fix. Nickolaus had promised to post timely results online and update them periodically for the April 3 election. But the public didn’t learn the results of contested local races for hours, while reporters and election reporting service representatives were forced to tabulate the vote totals themselves from long paper tapes hanging on the walls of a meeting room. The embattled county clerk already was under scrutiny because of her role in the 2011 state Supreme Court race, when she left the entire city of Brookfield out of countywide vote totals. When those 14,000 votes were added in, two days after the election, Justice David Prosser had won by 7,000 votes, instead of narrowly losing to Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, as the original count showed. But the uncertainty over the Waukesha County vote led to a statewide recount that confirmed Prosser’s victory.
Wisconsin: Racine County Sheriff’s Office finishes investigation into Wisconsin recall election allegations, reports sent to DA | Journal Times
The Racine County Sheriff’s Office has finished its investigation into several June 5 recall election complaints. “All the reports have been turned over to the district attorney,” Racine County Sheriff’s Lt. Steven Sikora said Monday. The sheriff’s office also on Monday turned over its investigation into allegations that a Raymond town supervisor ripped up nomination papers pertaining to a separate Raymond recall, Sikora said. Sikora couldn’t say if the sheriff’s office is recommending charges for any election related complaints. “It’s now in the DA’s hands,” Sikora said. Following the June 5 recall elections, in which former state Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, defeated state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, multiple allegations of irregularities at the polls have come up.
More than three dozen local election clerks appear to have missed a federally mandated deadline for sending out absentee ballots to military and overseas voters, according to the Government Accountability Board. Election officials had until this past Saturday to send out ballots requested by military and overseas voters who want to vote in the Aug. 14 primary in which Republicans will choose a U.S. Senate candidate to face the Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. The number of clerks who missed the deadline may change, as some 265 municipal clerks still haven’t told the GAB if they had any ballot requests, and GAB staff believe that some of the clerks who did respond to a survey might have responded incorrectly. But it nevertheless marks another in a string of elections in which Wisconsin has failed to comply with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act.
A recount has concluded Democrat John Lehman defeated incumbent Republican Van Wanggaard in last month’s state Senate recall races. An official canvas following the June 5 elections showed Lehman leading Wanggaard by 834 votes out of nearly 72,000 ballots cast in Racine County’s 21st Senate District. A Lehman victory would give Democrats a one-seat majority in the Senate. Wanggaard requested a recount, but final tallies from the Racine County clerk’s office Monday showed Lehman with 36,358 votes and Wanggaard with 35,539, a difference of 819 votes.
Wisconsin Democrats moved closer to controlling the state Senate today after a recount showed Democrat John Lehman defeated Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard in last month’s recall elections, though the incumbent said his campaign was pondering a lawsuit challenging the results. A Lehman victory in Racine County’s 21st Senate District would give Democrats a one-seat majority in the chamber until the November elections. Lehman issued a two-sentence statement saying he looks forward to joining his colleagues in the Senate. But Wanggaard refused to concede. “I will spend the next couple of days reviewing the evidence, speaking with voters, supporters, and my family before deciding my next step,” Wanggaard said in a statement.
While Gov. Scott Walker called for more bipartisanship in the wake of his recall victory, a bitter fight over who controls the state Senate threatens any chance at reconciliation as Republicans fight to hold on and Democrats look to extract a victory from the recall season. The closely watched recount of a Republican state senator’s recall election is scheduled to wrap up Monday, but the battle over who will control the chamber for the rest of the year won’t end when the final ballot is tallied. Lawsuits are expected, and would probably drag out the process for weeks or months. ”If they continue to try and hold onto this seat, white-knuckled kicking and screaming, it’s going to continue the same partisan battles we’ve been having and that they supposedly wanted to end,” said Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson. An official canvass after the June 5 election showed Democratic challenger John Lehman leading GOP Sen. Van Wanggaard by 834 votes out of nearly 72,000 ballots cast, for a margin of 1.2 percentage points.
Wisconsin: Opened Ballot Bags Raise More Questions in Wisconsin Recall Recount | Mount Pleasant-Sturtevant, WI Patch
Officials with Republican Van Wanggaard’s campaign Thursday questioned why a number of bags containing ballots from the City of Racine were opened and then “double-bagged,” or placed in a second bag. Under Wisconsin’s election procedures, after the polls close, election workers remove the voted ballots and place them into a secured container or bag. The bag is secured using a tamper-evident numbered seal, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. Ballot bags are supposed to have all potential openings secured in such a manner that no ballot may be removed, nor any ballot added, without visible interference or damage to that ballot container. But Racine County Clerk Wendy Christiansen said that bags in nine of the 36 polling places in Racine in the June 5 recall election were found double-bagged.
State Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, gained a few more votes Tuesday during the sixth day of Racine County’s recall election recount. But the senator still remains well behind his challenger, former state Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine. During the June 5 recall election, Republican Gov. Scott Walker overwhelmingly beat Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat. But in Racine County’s 21st Senate District, Lehman led incumbent Wanggaard by 834 votes, according to canvass results. Following the election, Wanggaard requested a recount. Results through Tuesday show Wanggaard has gained 18 votes while Lehman has gained four but lost two, bringing the difference to 818, according to numbers from the Government Accountability Board and Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen. The recount continues today at the Racine County Courthouse, 730 Wisconsin Ave., in the first floor conference room. Tabulators Tuesday finished recounting Mount Pleasant’s results and turned attention to City of Racine wards, Christensen said. Racine poll workers have faced scrutiny for not having some people who registered to vote June 5 also sign poll books as required by law.
The odds of Racine’s recall recount winding up in court increased Tuesday, as Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard’s campaign said it may challenge canvassers’ decision to accept ballots from voters who did not sign the poll book. The recount is in its second week after Wanggaard’s campaign requested canvassers review an 834-vote victory that favored Democratic challenger John Lehman in the June 5 recall. Republicans’ latest contention of voting irregularities in Racine targets election workers who failed to ask voters to sign poll books as required by state law. The Wanggaard campaign also disputes the Government Accountability Board’s recommendation that canvassers accept the votes. Once canvassers certify the recall, the campaign could challenge the recount in court, potentially delaying Democratic control of the state Senate for weeks. The results of the recount will determine whether Republicans keep the majority or if Democrats take control of the Senate between now and the November general election. Since 2011, a new voting law requires that poll workers have voters sign a poll book.