, ,

Racine County clerk’s office mum on delay in vote count

Final results were updated on the county website after 5 p.m. Wednesday

A man puts a ballot into a counting machine as other voters line up behind him.
Julian Lutz submits his ballot Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at the New Glarus Village Hall in New Glarus, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Election results for Racine County were not posted to the county website until after 5 p.m. Wednesday — over 20 hours after polls closed Tuesday — with the county clerk’s office sharing little information on what has led to the delay.

For most of the day Wednesday, the election results webpage on the Racine County website only showed handwritten ward results for municipalities. In past elections in Racine County, including for the Feb. 20 primary election, the county has posted a tabulated summary report of the total votes cast.

Casey Morgenson, a spokesperson for the office of the Racine County executive, said she doesn’t “have any information on what happened.” Just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, she said the summary report was available on the website, but she didn’t respond to a reporter’s question about what led to the delay.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Morgenson said she doesn’t know if a computer glitch led to the mix-up.  However, earlier in the day, she shared this statement from the county clerk’s office:

“The municipalities have to deliver all their materials to our office today. We will be taking information directly from their results tapes to enter into another reporting system so we can prepare/print cumulative reports to put on the website. I am anticipating later today, but don’t have a specific time.”

Henry Perez, who is running for reelection as an alder in the city of Racine, said he heard late Tuesday night there was some sort of “malfunction” in the equipment.

“All I know is that there was an equipment malfunction, that the lists had to be totally redone and something didn’t work,” Perez said.

“It’s aggravating,” he added.

Stacy Taap, a spokesperson for the Racine Unified School District, said early Wednesday afternoon that final results still weren’t in for four school board races across the district because of the incident.

“We have been told they are hopeful to have results later today,” Taap said in an email. 

Toni Young, who is running for election after her appointment as a Racine County circuit court judge, said she hadn’t heard any news about when totals would be in when she was contacted by a reporter earlier on Wednesday.

The vote count snafu in the county of about 196,000 residents has locals worried about what will happen in November’s presidential election, which will have far higher turnout. In 2020, President Joe Biden won the state by just over 20,000 votes. Wisconsin’s battleground state status will shine a spotlight on the vote count as it comes in.

“Good practice for it. We’ll see what happens then,” Perez said.