Presidential election recount gets underway in Wisconsin
Douglas County election officials got right to work Thursday morning, reconciling poll books and absentee ballot certificates -- then sorting, counting and recounting ballots by hand as Wisconsin's first statewide presidential election recount go...
Douglas County election officials got right to work Thursday morning, reconciling poll books and absentee ballot certificates - then sorting, counting and recounting ballots by hand as Wisconsin's first statewide presidential election recount got underway across the state.
Before 12:30 p.m., a second group of tabulators started rolling in. The morning crew had already recounted ballots cast in Amnicon, Bennett, Gordon, Hawthorne, Maple and Summit.
“These ladies are top notch,” said Gwen Theien of the Douglas County Board of Canvassers.
With poll books and absentee ballot certificates for the village of Superior reconciled, a new crew stepped in to count ballots for the village. Work was just getting underway to recount the ballots cast in the Nov. 8 presidential election in the first of five voting districts in Superior.
“That’s going to slow down when we get to Superior because of the larger number of votes,” said Douglas County Clerk Susan Sandvick.
The recount was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente.
Republican Donald Trump finished ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by about 22,177 votes. Stein came in fourth place, 1.3 million votes behind. Green Party officials have said the recount is about checking the integrity of the voting process, not about whether Trump won or lost.
Overall, early in the recount in Douglas County, very little changed from the canvassed results following the election, and only one irregularity was reported in Summit. An original ballot, sent electronically by a service member serving overseas, was not found with the remade ballot that was fed into a vote machine.
Canvass officials noted the irregularity, but when the count was finished, the result remained exactly the same.
Clinton carried 312 votes in Summit to Trump’s 255 votes. Stein still got only eight votes in the town south of Superior, fewer than the 19 of Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
Sandvick said that while a few numbers might have changed slightly over the course of the morning, but she still hadn’t had time to analyze the results.
By time election officials wrapped up for the day around 3:30 p.m., seven rural municipalities and two voting districts in Superior - votes cast at the Salvation Army and Billings Park Civic Center - were recounted.
With nearly a third of the voting districts recounted in Douglas County, Sandvick said they were only a couple of votes off.
Election officials will be back on the job at 9 a.m. today to continue recounting ballots; then they’ll get the weekend off before returning to finish the job next week, starting at 9 a.m. Monday.
“We did pretty good,” said Superior City Clerk Terri Kalan.
Wisconsin Public Radio contributed to this report.