Wisconsin’s presidential recount, which will begin next week, could put the state at risk of not having its 10 electoral votes counted. A federal “safe harbor” law requires states to complete presidential recounts within 35 days of the election to ensure their electoral votes are counted. This year, that’s Dec. 13.
It will be extremely difficult for Wisconsin to meet the Dec. 13 deadline if Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is able to force the recount to be conducted by hand. A lawyer with Stein’s campaign has said it wants the recount done by hand. That would take longer and require a judge’s order.
According to the Journal-Sentinel, Recounts will be done by county boards of canvassers, which will likely have to work nights and weekends.
Stein and independent presidential candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente separately filed recount requests late Friday, the last day they were able to do so. Stein received about 31,000 votes and De La Fuente about 1,500 out of three million cast.
Stein — who received just 1% of the vote in Wisconsin — is also planning to ask for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, which have deadlines next week.
The push for a recount is the result of a Liberal conspiracy theory that voting machines might have been hacked. Election officials and experts say they are unaware of any problems with Wisconsin’s vote tally. No reasonable person expects the results to change after the recount. President-elect Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by some 22,000 votes in Wisconsin.
The Journal-Sentinel reminds us that Wisconsin’s last statewide recount was in 2011 for a state Supreme Court seat. The recount did not change the outcome. The recount showed Justice David Prosser defeated challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg by 7,004 votes — slightly less than the 7,316-vote victory he had in initial returns.
What is truly troubling that recount took more than a month. This one would have to be done in a little more than two weeks to make the Dec. 13 deadline.
More important, Electors around the country must meet to cast their Electoral College votes on Dec. 19.
Edward Foley, an expert in election law at Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, told the Journal-Sentinel that if the recount isn’t complete by then, electors from Wisconsin could meet anyway and try to have their results sent to Congress by the time it counts the votes on Jan. 6. Congress has wide latitude to decide how to count the states’ electoral votes.
Could the shorthanded Supreme Court be called upon to tell Wisconsin to stop the recount to ensure the state’s 10 Electoral votes are counted?
This is just ridiculous. Stein — who received just 1% of the vote in Wisconsin and De La Fuente who received far less than that should not be able to require a recount.