Clinton Joins Stein’s Recount Campaign in Wisconsin
Green Party candidate Jill Stein is the driving force behind a recount of Wisconsin’s presidential election ballots at an estimated cost of $3.5 million and the exclusive time and attention of county clerks.
“It’s disappointing to think all of the time, effort and money going into this for an outcome that’s not going to change,” said Door County Clerk Jill Lau. “Our office is pretty much closed to the public during the recount because we are only a two-person office.”
Although the recount is not likely to change the outcome for Stein, who received 1.1 percent of the Wisconsin vote with 30,980 ballots, Stein claims, “After a diverse and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many American (sic) to wonder if our election results are reliable… This is about protecting our democracy and ensuring that ‘We the People’ can have confidence in reported results.”
Lau, who also serves as vice president of the Wisconsin County Clerks Association, rejects these claims of unreliability and failed democracy.
“It casts a cloud over anybody involved in the elections from your poll worker to the election commission that these things are rigged,” said Lau. “I’ve heard people say clerks don’t know what they’re doing.”
Hillary Clinton joined the recount movement in Wisconsin despite Clinton campaign attorney Marc Erik Elias stating in a blog post, “we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology.”
However Elias went on to say, “now that the recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.”
Stein was required to provide the estimated $3.5 million to the Wisconsin Elections Commission by 4:30 pm on Nov. 29, calling the sum “exorbitant” and “unconscionable.”
Lau said the state will track the true costs of the recount and refund Stein for any unused funds.
While state statute allows for county clerks to determine how they recount the ballots, by hand or by machine, Stein sued the state to require hand count of the ballots. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn ruled against Stein, saying there is no evidence to support a fault in the machines used during the election. Lau said her office will be counting by hand, citing little difference in the time spent between hand counting and running each ballot through the machine.
State law requires that the recount be completed by Dec. 13. Lau expects the recount in Door County will take up to seven days, leaving little time for other business at the county clerk’s office.
“It’s a major burden to our local people who need access to the office as well as all other work gets pushed,” said Lau. “We’re closed until it’s done.”
Stein has also pursued recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.