A recount request filed by state Sen. Van Wanggaard was approved Monday by Wisconsin election officials, who ordered Racine County officials to begin reviewing all of the nearly 72,000 ballots cast starting Wednesday, June 20. Wanggaard requested a recount last week, three days after an official canvass showed him trailing Democratic challenger John Lehman by 834 votes. The margin represented 1.2 percent of the 71,868 ballots cast. Democrats had called on the Republican incumbent to concede, saying a recount would only waste taxpayer money and delay the inevitable. But Wanggaard’s campaign said it was concerned about reports of voting irregularities and wanted to ensure the outcome was accurate.
Articles about voting issues in Wisconsin.
The state Government Accountability Board will order a recount of results, in the 21st state Senate District recall election between incumbent Republican Van Wanggaard and Democratic challenger John Lehman. Government Accountability Board staff attorney Mike Haas says the order for the recount will issued by GAB on Monday, and the Racine County Clerk’s office will begin the process at 9:00 Wednesday morning. “The recount has to be completed within 13 calendar days of the date that we issue the order. After that time there’s an appeal period of five business days, if a candidate wants to appeal to circuit court,” says Haas. Barring an appeal, GAB would then certify the results. Right now, Democrat John Lehman leads Republican incumbent Van Wannggard by 834 votes. Costs of the recount will be borne by the taxpayers of Racine County, although the Wanggaard campaign did pay a fee $685 when the petition requesting the recall was filed with GAB.
When the major networks called the recall election for Republican Scott Walker barely one hour after the polls closed at 8 p.m., there was widespread disbelief over the results — among Democrats, at least — and bewilderment over the process. Some of the confusion was understandable. The same networks just 30 minutes before had released early exit polling data showing the race between Walker and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett was a dead heat. People were also ticked off that the election was being called with just over 20% of wards reporting and voters still in line in Milwaukee waiting to cast ballots. It struck many in the heat of the moment that corporate media had usurped the democratic process. One woman tweeted in disgust at 9 p.m.: “Ok NBC get a grip 22% and you’re calling it? Puke.” Even the Associated Press seemed sensitive to the criticism, putting out an article that night with the headline “How the AP calls elections before all the votes are tallied.”
Wisconsin state GOP. Sen. Van Wanggaard asked elections officials Friday for a recount in his recall race, the outcome of which will decide the majority party in the state Senate. An official canvass this week showed the Racine Republican trailing his Democratic challenger by 834 votes, or 1.2 percent. Democrats had called on Wanggaard to concede, saying a recount would only delay their inevitable and waste taxpayer money. But Wanggaard’s campaign said it was concerned about possible reports of voting irregularities, and said it wanted to ensure the outcome was accurate.
Wisconsin: Canvass affirms Lehman recall victory for Wisconsin Senate; Wanggaard yet to concede | JSOnline
An official count Tuesday determined that Democrat John Lehman indeed won the Senate recall election in Racine, but Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard has yet to concede and is considering a recount, leaving the issue of Senate majority undecided. The seat’s ownership, and Democrats’ control of the Senate, remained an open question after the June 5 recall election. Racine County’s Board of Canvassers said Tuesday the final vote tally is 36,351 to 35,517, yielding an 834-vote victory in Lehman’s favor. The canvassers’ official tally put Lehman an additional 55 votes ahead of last week’s unofficial findings because one polling place did not report votes from a touch-screen polling machine, Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen said. Lehman, who declared victory the morning after the election, said the board’s findings reinforced his confidence in the win. Lehman is a former senator who lost to Wanggaard in the November 2010 election.
Wisconsin Democrats moved ahead Wednesday with plans for running the state Senate, even though the crucial recall contest they say handed them a one-seat majority remained too close to call. At a news conference, Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller of Monona said he is the new majority leader and has already spoken with Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald about the transition, dismissing the possibility that incumbent GOP Sen. Van Wanggaard might seek a recount. ”We look forward to opening up the governmental process to the public,” Miller said. Fitzgerald said Miller’s stance is premature. Democrats forced Wanggaard, Fitzgerald and two other GOP senators into recalls as payback for supporting Gov. Scott Walker’s divisive policies. One of the senators resigned rather than defend her seat, creating a 16-16 split between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats had to win only one of the contests Tuesday to seize control of the chamber; Republicans cruised to wins for three of the seats but had to win all four to retake a majority.
If history is written by the winners, this was the night for the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, to add his name on the ledger. On June 5th Mr Walker faced a recall election to drive him out of office—only the third attempted recall of a governor in America’s history. This was prompted by statewide outrage when, last year, the pushy Republican brought in a law curbing the collective-bargaining rights of public-sector workers. Mr Walker defeated his opponent, Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee—Wisconsin’s biggest city—by seven points, a wide margin. No governor has survived a recall before, but in a political campaign that has drawn, by the latest accounting, an astonishing $63.5m in funding—most of it from outside groups—Mr Walker outspent his opponents six or seven times over.
Governor Barrett, meet President Kerry. Exit poll numbers released to subscribers just before polls closed in the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday dangled the possibility that Milwaukee Mayor Tommy Barrett (D) could win. The numbers seemed to pop off the screen — 50 percent apiece for Barrett and Republican Gov. Scott Walker, the subject of the recall effort. Walker had a clear lead in independent pre-election polls, so the tie score sent analysts scrambling and buoyed Democratic hopes when the numbers were widely reported elsewhere minutes later at the official poll close time. Just a half hour later, the exit poll shifted to 52 to 48 percent, tilting in Walker’s favor. (The final margin appears to be seven percentage points.) A potential Gov. Barrett era had ended before it started, and a fresh round of bash-the-exit-poll commenced. For the exit poll, it was reminiscent of 2004, when leaked midday results showing Democratic contender John F. Kerry with leads in key states led his own pollster ask the candidate “Can I be the first to call you Mr. President?” These aren’t lone examples: Recall then-senator Barack Obama winning the New Hampshire primary? On Tuesday, as in the other instances, the fault is less about the exit polls themselves, than it is about a widespread, albeit understandable misrepresentation of the numbers. The exit poll is, after all, a poll, complete with a margin of sampling error and other foibles.
Wisconsin: The Influence Industry: In Wisconsin recall, the side with most money won big | The Washington Post
If the Wisconsin recall battle was a test of the power of political spending, the big money won big. Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who survived an effort by Wisconsin Democrats to unseat him in a special election on Tuesday, outspent his opponent by more than 7-to-1 and easily overcame massive get-out-the-vote efforts by Democrats. The recall contest ranks as the most expensive in Wisconsin history, with well over $63 million spent by the candidates and interest groups combined. Walker was bolstered by wealthy out-of-state donors who gave as much as $500,000 each to his campaign under special state rules allowing incumbents to ignore contribution limits in a recall election. He raised $30.5 million compared to just $3.9 million by his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, according to data compiled by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. The big spending was made possible in part by the landmark Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission , which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited funds on elections and also made it easier for wealthy individuals to bankroll such efforts. Wisconsin was one of a number of states that had previously banned direct election spending by corporations and labor groups. As a result, many Democrats and campaign watchdog groups view the Wisconsin matchup as a test-run of sorts for November, when super PACs and other interest groups could spend $1 billion or more on political ads and organizing efforts in races for the White House and Congress. The outcome has also prompted hand-wringing on the left over whether pro-Democratic groups, which traditionally focus on ground-game organizing rather than advertising, will need to rethink their strategy.
There may be a glimmer of good news for Wisconsin Democrats despite last night’s convincing win by Republican Scott Walker in the recall race for governor. After a vote tabulation glitch in Racine County, Democrat John Lehman appears to have come out on top in a state Senate recall that late Tuesday night looked as if it was going the way of incumbent Republican Van Wanggard. The margin is less than 1,000 votes, and Wanggard has yet to concede though Lehman, who held the seat until 2010, declared victory. It’s only one seat, but that’s enough for now to flip control of the state Senate from the GOP to Democrats, a change that could in theory make things harder for Walker to impose his conservative agenda in Madison.