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Lawmakers Look To Change Wisconsin Recount Law

Sponsors Say Proposal Was Spurred By 2016 Presidential Recount

Woman looking over recount votes
Morry Gash/AP Photo

A new proposal from state lawmakers would only allow second place finishers to request election recounts in Wisconsin, a policy change that would have prevented Wisconsin’s recent presidential recount.

The new proposal says only a second place finisher who comes within 1 percent of the winner can request a recount. That would have been about 75,000 votes in the last presidential election.

The bill’s sponsors say it’s in response to the presidential recount requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein last year. Stein only received about 1 percent of the vote in Wisconsin.

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Sen. Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, is one of the bill’s sponsors. He said many constituents asked him why Stein was able to request the recount, something they were concerned could “potentially hijack our election results by not getting our electoral votes finalized on time.”

Rep. Ron Tusler, R-Harrison, is another bill sponsor.

“As for those folks that would like to see anybody be able to get a recount, well, that’s not really fair to our clerks,” Tusler said.

Tusler said some county clerks who worked on the recount requested the bill.

The proposal would also shorten the deadline for filing a recount request.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, to include original reporting from WPR.

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