The election battle seen as a proxy between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and foes of his anti-union legislation may end or open a new chapter today.
Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenberg has until 5pm today to request a recount in her very close race with incumbent Supreme Court Justice David Prosser.
While the margin is close enough for the state of Wisconsin to pay for the recount, Kloppenberg still has to decide if she wants to put herself through what could be several months of legal action and whether she and her supporters have enough money to pay the legal bills of the lawyers that will be needed in the fight. Legal fees for the 2009 US Senate recount in Minnesota ran close to $10 Million for each side and the principle lawyers from that fight have been retained by Kloppenberg and Prosser for this fight.
Should Kloppenberg decide to press ahead you’ll see a process somewhat like Minnesota’s recounts, but with some significant differences.
Most of the work of the recount happens at the county level. Wisconsin has 72 counties. Each county has a canvassing board that will recount the votes. Unlike Minnesota, not all of the votes will be counted by hand. Only non-scannable paper ballots will be counted by hand. Ballots that were originally counted by optical scanners, will be counted that way again.
Should the recount go ahead, the Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board which oversees elections is planning to go to court tomorrow to clear out the memory on the optical scanners or to conduct a Statewide hand count of all ballots in the recount. It is possible that either campaign may request the data from the optical scanners be preserved, which would mean a hand recount.