Presidential recount kicks off in Wisconsin

December 1, 2016

Madison — A 13-day race to recount nearly 3 million presidential ballots starts Thursday in Wisconsin, with some workers prepared to tally votes until midnight in the nation’s first statewide presidential recount since 2004 — one experts believe has little chance of changing the outcome of the race.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign paid $3.5 million to cover the costs of the recount, which will include the use of ballot counting machines following Stein’s failure Tuesday to convince a judge to mandate the recount be done entirely by hand.

A spokesman for the Wisconsin Election Commission said the agency will be trying to gather and release daily recount data from each county in the state showing any tally changes for voting wards. Reid Magney said news media might need to add up the data themselves to determine whether GOP President-elect Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton see a statewide gain in votes on a given day.

“In a statewide sense I don’t know if we’re going to go that far,” Magney said of analyzing the raw data before the recount ends.

In addition, the agency will be collecting an explanation from local officials for all the cases in which 10 or more votes are changed in a given reporting unit, which is typically a voting ward.

In the official count of the 2.98 million votes cast in Wisconsin, Trump was certified to have won by 22,000 votes — an outcome that is very unlikely to change if this recount behaves as other statewide recounts have in Wisconsin and elsewhere.