What You Need To Know About The Recount Effort In Wisconsin
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If you have read any sort of news in the past few weeks, it is inevitable that you have heard about the recount efforts, headed by Jill Stein, intended to give voters confidence in the outcome of the presidential election. Stein justified this in a CNN interview by stating, “Unless we actually look, we would never know.” One place where a recount is taking place is my state of Wisconsin. Besides costing just under four million dollars for all seventy two counties in Wisconsin to recount by hand, optical scan, or combination of the two, it leads to the question of why a third party candidate who received only one percent of the vote in Wisconsin is so adamant about a recount that will likely amount to nothing. Some simply perceive this as a fundraising scheme for the Green Party, or even just another way to ensure that the country will not go a single day of 2016 without November 8th looming over our heads.
On Friday, November 25th, Jill Stein submitted a petition to the Wisconsin Elections Commissions to begin the process of moving forward with a recount. Here in Wisconsin, to file for a recount, one must meet the deadline and provide proper evidence that the recount is not a total waste of time, resources, and money by stating reasons given by Wisconsin State Statute 9.01(10). Those include that the person submitting the recount petition has to have been a candidate in the race in question, and most importantly, feel as though fraud or a mistake has occurred.
Since then, the recount has been in full swing following the acceptance of the petition by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. It is on scheduled to be completed by next Monday, December 12th, a day earlier than the federal deadline of December 13th. To date, over half of the counties in the state have completed the recount. You can find up to date information here. Many counties have been working night and day with the aid of volunteers to accomplish the recount as quickly and accurately as possible.
As of now, there has been no significant change in the outcome. This has raised many questions, especially by those here in Wisconsin, about whether or not this was actually worth it. It is well known that this state has a very decentralized voting process and the voter identification laws pushed for by Governor Scott Walker have made the process even more secure and the results reliable. The expected outcome is to be the same as was called on election night with minor variances in the total numbers, making the value of a recount decrease. The states where the recounts are either happening or in the process of potentially happening, have not gone red in many of the past elections. This should not be shocking due to the unconventional nature of this election cycle. Many citizens of our country were frustrated and felt left behind, until one candidate came along that proved to be their voice. The millions spent on this recount could have been better spent through donations to charity, to parties for the next election cycle, or even by being kept in the pockets of those who donated their hard earned cash.
Bailey is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who enjoys writing, traveling, and coffee. When she isn't working, you can find her with her nose in a book or planning her next adventure.
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