A federal judge Friday denied an emergency halt to the recount of the presidential vote in Wisconsin, allowing the process to continue until a Dec. 9 court hearing at least. There is no need to halt the recount just yet because it will not do any immediate harm to Republican President-elect Donald Trump or his supporters, U.S. District Judge James Peterson wrote in a three-page order that called for both sides in the case to lay out written arguments before he takes any action. Citing the case that cleared George W. Bush’s path to the presidency, Trump supporters had filed a lawsuit early Friday to stop Wisconsin’s recount and safeguard the president elect’s Nov. 8 victory here.
Articles about voting issues in Wisconsin.
The basement room was cleared of pens with blue or black ink, items that could mar paper ballots. Anyone wearing a coat was told to leave it in the hallway, in case something nefarious was hidden underneath. Water bottles, purses and keys were placed on the floor, leaving the large plastic tables smooth and uncluttered. And at 9 a.m., with the brisk rap of a county clerk’s wooden gavel, the first recount of the 2016 presidential election was underway in Wisconsin, with another recount pending in the neighboring battleground state of Michigan. For the next 12 days, election officials across all 72 counties in Wisconsin will work days, nights and weekends to recount nearly three million ballots, an effort initiated and financed by Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, who has suggested that voting machines in the state could have been hacked. Very few people expect that the recount will reverse the outcome of the election. President-elect Donald J. Trump triumphed here over Hillary Clinton by 22,177 votes, and in Michigan by 10,704 votes, a margin that a lawyer for Mrs. Clinton, Marc Elias, said had never been overcome in a recount. Legal challenges to the vote in Pennsylvania, where Mr. Trump leads by 70,638 votes, are also underway.
Wisconsin: Recount begins in Wisconsin, and it feels like Election Day again | Minneapolis Star Tribune
In the St. Croix County government building, just across the river from Minnesota, Thursday felt a bit like Election Day. Once again, county officials lugged in the heavy machines used to count ballots, set up a table for people to check in and prepared to brief a team of elections workers about the long day that lay ahead. Shortly after 9 a.m., after she’d ensured that everyone and everything was in place — the ballot counters, the political-party observers, the coffee pot and doughnuts — St. Croix County Clerk Cindy Campbell welcomed the 30 or so people gathered in the county’s board room. “This is a recount for the president of the United States,” she said. “It’s something I thought I’d never say, but we’re doing this.” Recount operations began across Wisconsin’s 72 counties on Thursday, following a request from Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who is footing the bill for the nearly $3.5 million effort. It is the first statewide recount prompted by a candidate since 2000, when Florida carried out a much-watched recount to settle the race between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore. Over the next 12 days, officials will recount nearly 3 million ballots.
Wisconsin: New evidence finds anomalies in Wisconsin vote, but no conclusive evidence of fraud | Walter R. Mebane, Jr./The Washington Post
Did the outcome of voting for president in Wisconsin accurately reflect the intentions of the electors? Concerns have been raised about errors in vote counts produced using electronic technology — were machines hacked? — and a recount may occur. Some reports involving statistical analysis of the results has been discussed in the media recently. These analyses, though, rely on data at the county level. Technology, demographics and other important characteristics of the electorate vary within counties, making it difficult to resolve conclusively whether voting technology (did voters cast paper or electronic ballots?) affected the final tabulation of the vote for president. For this reason, I have examined ward-level data. Wards are the smallest aggregation unit at which vote counts are reported in Wisconsin, and many wards have fewer than 100 voters. My analysis, which relies on using election forensics techniques designed to identify electoral fraud, reveals some reasons to be suspicious about vote patterns in Wisconsin. To be very clear, my analysis cannot prove whether fraud occurred, but it does suggest that it would be valuable to conduct an election audit to resolve such concerns definitively.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein will not appeal a judge’s rejection of her lawsuit to force a hand recount of nearly 3 million presidential ballots in Wisconsin, clearing the way for machines to be used in the statewide effort beginning Thursday. Also Wednesday, Stein filed another recount petition in Michigan and the Republican Party of Wisconsin filed a federal elections complaint against both Stein and Democrat Hillary Clinton. The complaint alleges that Stein — who received only a small share of the vote — is improperly fundraising to pay for a recount that primarily benefits Clinton, the second-place finisher behind GOP President-elect Donald Trump. The fundraising amounts to improper coordination between the two campaigns, the complaint to the Federal Elections Commission alleges. “Clinton stands as the only actor that would benefit from a recount taking place in Wisconsin or elsewhere,” the complaint reads. “As outlined below, the Clinton campaign’s direct involvement in the recount process, which was announced well before the recount itself was paid for and finalized, demonstrates a clear link between the actions of the Stein campaign and the strategic goals of Hillary for America.” The complaint is based on the public actions and statements of the Clinton and Stein campaigns and not on any inside information.
Even if the recount of Wisconsin’s election results doesn’t change a single vote, the scrutiny could have one useful side effect: Spotlighting how scattershot the American voting system has become. Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is leading the effort for a recount after claims surfaced that there was statistical evidence the state’s results were suspicious. Many supporters of the recount worry that Russian hackers might have thrown the contest to President-elect Donald Trump, who won the state by 24,081 votes out of nearly 3 million cast. Skeptics have thrown cold water on the claim, arguing that the data does not support this claim in any convincing way. But right now it’s almost impossible to disprove the suspicion that voting machines were somehow compromised because Wisconsin’s voting machines are so inconsistent from one location to the next.
A Wisconsin judge refused on Tuesday to order local election workers to conduct the state’s upcoming presidential recount completely by hand Tuesday, finding that nothing suggests the state’s electronic tabulating machines have been hacked. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has been trying to make the case that Wisconsin’s tabulating machines could have been compromised in a cyberattack and a hand recount is the only way to tell for sure. But Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn concluded Stein’s attorneys failed to show any hard evidence the machines were attacked and are unreliable. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by about 22,000 votes in Wisconsin, but Stein has alleged — without evidence — that the results may have been hacked. She asked for a recount last week, saying the state needs to be sure.
For Jill Stein, it’s time to put her money where her mouth is. After raising $6.5 million and taking steps to initiate recounts in a trio of states Hillary Clinton lost in the Nov. 8 presidential election, Stein has to now pay for the recounts. The estimated costs vary for the three states where she’s fueling recount efforts —Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — but combined, it’s within the amount of money Stein has raised so far. Stein on Tuesday met the 4:30 CT filing deadline and paid the nearly $3.5 million required for a recount, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Earlier in the day, fringe independent presidential candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente withdrew his petition for a recount. The recount starts Thursday. In Michigan, Stein has until Wednesday to request a formal recount and must pay $973,250 to underwrite the costs, according to the Michigan secretary of state’s office. Her campaign on Monday notified the Michigan Board of State Canvassers of its intent to request — but has yet to file paperwork. Michigan officials expect Stein to pay the fee and initiate the recount before the deadline.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission agreed Monday to begin a recount of the presidential election on Thursday but was sued by Green Party candidate Jill Stein after the agency declined to require county officials to recount the votes by hand. It will be a race to finish the recount in time to meet a daunting federal deadline, and the lawsuit could delay the process. Under state law, the recount must begin this week as long as Stein or another candidate pays the $3.5 million estimated cost of the recount by Tuesday, election officials said. Also Monday, Stein filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania to force a recount there and her supporters began filing recount requests at the precinct level in the Keystone State. Stein — who received just a tiny piece of the national vote — also plans to ask for a recount in Michigan on Wednesday.
Wisconsin: Elections Commission rejects hand recount mandate; Stein to sue | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Wisconsin Elections Commission set a timetable Monday for a recount of the presidential election but rejected a request to require a count by hand made by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who quickly responded that she would sue. Also Monday, Stein filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania to force a recount there and her supporters began filing recount requests at the precinct level there. Stein — who received just a tiny piece of the vote —also plans to ask for a recount in Michigan on Wednesday. Unless Stein wins her lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court, officials in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties would decide on their own whether to do their recounts by hand. That could mean some counties perform recounts by machine and some by hand. Citing the results of a 2011 statewide recount that changed only 300 votes, Elections Commission chairman Mark Thomsen, a Democrat, said this presidential recount is very unlikely to change Republican Donald Trump’s win in the state. “It may not be 22,177,” said Thomsen, referring to Trump’s win over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the vote count. “But I don’t doubt that the president-elect is going to win that.”