Wisconsin taxpayers so far are on the hook for more than a quarter-million dollars in the recount of votes in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race. The statewide recount of ballots in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race will cost the state at least $230,000, according to updated financial data gathered by Wisconsin Reporter.
As of Friday, initial recount cost estimates from 57 of the state’s 72 counties totaled $233,539, county officials said. That’s less than half of the Government Accountability Board’s initial estimate of $500,000, though figures from several of the state’s larger counties, including Milwaukee and Ozaukee, were unavailable.
The majority of the county officials contacted Friday said their costs were equal to or less than expected, due to both underestimating the number of volunteers they would have to conduct the recount and overestimating the time needed for the actual recounting process.
“I had originally estimated $1,700, because I thought we would have to go an extra day, but it worked out well,” said Marinette County Clerk Kathy Brandt, whose staff completed the recount in two days at a final cost of $1,448.74. “We had identified all of our problems ahead of time.”
The situation was similar in Marquette County, said Donna Seddon, the county’s clerk. The county’s recount was completed in about two days by a largely volunteer staff, making the final cost roughly $900, Seddon said.
“But if I had included all the help that I got for free, we would have spent $4,000,” she said.
Just nine of those 57 counties reported higher-than-expected recount costs. Most of the clerks in those counties said the extra money went to reprogramming databases or renting additional memory packs for vote tabulating machines.