I’ll start this overdue update with the unofficial recounted numbers released at 6 pm last night from the Government Accountability Board. There are a pair of one-vote discrepancies in the current GAB spreadsheet where the hand-entered total number of votes is one higher than both the sum of the votes cast for the candidates and “scattering” (i.e. write-in) and the number of ballots reported as cast, likely entry errors because every number is hand-entered on the GAB spreadsheet, so I did not include those two reporting units in my tracking spreadsheet. Not including those two reporting units, David Prosser’s lead over JoAnne Kloppenburg in the 523 “cleanly” reported units (14.52% of all reporting units, representing 176,646 votes) increased by 32, to an unofficial 7,348-vote lead.
A quick housekeeping note on my tracking spreadsheet; except for Wednesday’s scrapped numbers, it will include the archived daily totals from the GAB on individual worksheets (date/time-stamp based on when the GAB uploaded their source spreadsheet both in the header and in the worksheet tab), and the most-current worksheet will be on the tab furthest to the left (it should also be the one that opens when one opens the spreadsheet).
The GAB also reported yesterday that 20 of the 72 counties have completed the recount as of 8:19 pm. They (and I) stress that not all of those counties have been entered in the running-total spreadsheet yet. Indeed, WEAU-TV reported that Eau Claire County completed its recount, with a net change of 9 additional votes for Prosser and 14 additional votes for Kloppenburg. The pre-recount margin in Eau Claire County was 15,919 for Kloppenburg and 11,416 for Prosser. Notably, Eau Claire County was forced to recount every vote by hand because the optical machines used by every municipality was the Optech Eagle.
The Prosser campaign launched a website that, among other things, is tracking results that combine what the GAB is reporting and what representatives of their recount team have observed. I cannot stress enough that these are both unofficial numbers and from a source that has a vested interest in what is reported, namely one of the campaigns. As of early this morning, according to the Prosser campaign, with 31.75% of the wards and 398,395 votes (26.61%) recounted, Prosser’s lead has grown by 52 votes from the pre-recount 7,316-vote lead.
Meanwhile, the big story of yesterday (or, at least what would have been the big story had it happened in Waukesha County instead of Dane County) was the separation of 97 ballots from a ballot bag in the city of Verona. Summarizing The CapTimes’ story, the discrepancy came about when the Dane County canvassing board discovered, while recounting ballots cast in the city of Verona, there were over 90 fewer ballots present than the number that had been run through the voting machines on Election Day. A search ensued, and the ballots, rubber-banded together, turned up in the office of the Verona city clerk. Despite the loss of the chain of custody on the ballots, precinct stamps and initials established their legitimacy and they were recounted. The once-missing ballots favored Prosser by 30 votes, even though Kloppenburg carried the city of Verona by a pre-recount 2,380-1,204 margin. That irregularity also, according to the CapTimes did not change that pre-recount margin.
The weekend will be at least a one-day period of work for most of the canvassing boards that have not completed the recount process. While state statutes state that, while recounting, canvassing boards cannot take more than one consecutive day off, the GAB will allow those boards who are “confident” they will complete their work by Friday, May 6 (three days before the statutory deadline) to take the entire weekend off. As for the GAB, they will post at least one updated set of vote totals today, but they will not post any tomorrow.