The recount of the Presidential election in Wisconsin is in its second day, and unless one is a Clinton/Stein diehard supporter, things are going right about as expected. The Wisconsin Elections Commission posted the results given to it yesterday, and with a couple of important notes, not much has changed with over 10% of the original vote, and over 13% of the reporting units, recounted. Indeed, the biggest change remains Menominee County’s original failure to report most of the miniscule number of votes cast for the minor-party candidates in the most Democrat-heavy county in the state (17 for Jill Stein, 12 for Gary Johnson and 3 for Darrell Castle).
The WEC’s spreadsheet includes partial totals for various reporting units in the city of Milwaukee, with none of the absentee ballots counted yet, as well as what appears to be 2 partial reports from a reporting unit in Hales Corners and from the town of Woodland in Sauk County. Taking those out of the spreadsheet, 484 of Wisconsin’s 3636 reporting units (or 478 of 3,499 that actually had at least 1 vote recorded) have been recounted, representing what had been canvassed as 299,970 votes for the 7 candidates that were on the ballot. Donald Trump had a net gain of 5 votes, Hillary Clinton had a net gain of 3 votes, and Stein a net gain of 24 votes. Including the other minor candidates, the 459 total vote changes yielded a net change in the number of votes recorded of only +47.
Extending that over the remaining 90% of the vote/87% of the reporting units, Trump’s lead over Clinton would grow to 22,637 (+20 versus the original canvass), and his lead over Stein would shrink to 1,373,248 (-186 versus the original canvass). Of course, that includes the “clerical” error in Menominee County; backing that error out would net Stein only 69 additional votes instead of 235 additional votes. Either way, that would represent one of the most expensive per-vote expenditures in the history of elections for exactly zero net effect as she would still be in a distant 4th place and the Green Party would still have automatic ballot access through 2018 without the recount.
Of note, 308 reporting units, including 302 with at least 1 vote cast, had zero changes. Given the establishment of voter intent is significantly more permissive in a recount than on election day, there is no statistical evidence of mischief by the election officials.
Indeed, Wisconsin has conducted an audit of every type of electronic voting equipment used after every fall general election since 2006, and not even one piece of equipment has failed to meet the federal standard of no more than 1 error per 500,000 ballots. The municipal clerks and the WEC were in the midst of this year’s audit when the recall came about and put at least a temporary hold on that.
In other news, a federal judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order sought by a couple of pro-Trump PACs, though he did schedule a hearing on the case for December 9. Meanwhile, the recount in the 32nd Senate district ended disappointingly, with Jennifer Schilling extending her margin of victory over Dan Kapanke from 56 votes to 61 votes.