Recounts in Crawford County

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Recount workers were busy in the Crawford County Administrative Building on Friday.


Crawford County 

conducts presidential, 

Senate District 32 recounts

By Ted Pennekamp


There were 11 people at the presidential recount Friday morning in the Crawford County Administration Building in Prairie du Chien. Three of the 11 were observers. Two of the observers were democrats. The other observer didn’t list any political party. The eight other people were either county employees or temporary employees who were working on the recount.

Crawford County Clerk Janet Geisler said Friday that everything was going smoothly. In fact, the number of recount workers was down a bit on Friday from what it had been when the recount began on Thursday.

The original vote totals for Crawford County in the Nov. 8 election had Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton 3,844-3,425. Darrell Castle received 45 votes. Gary Johnson got 277. Jill Stein, who filed for the recount, got 73. Monica Moorehead got 8. Roque “Rocky” DeLaFuente received 6. Evan McMullin got 21 and Mike Maturen got 2. There were 43 scattered votes.

Following the recount in Crawford County, the vote totals were 3,836 for Trump and 3,419 for Clinton. Castle got 45. Johnson received 277, Stein 73, Moorehead 8, DeLaFuente 4, McMullin 16 and Maturen 2.

Trump defeated Clinton in Wisconsin by 22,177 votes on Nov. 8.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein had filed for the recount, saying in her petition that she believed “an irregularity has occurred” in the counting of Wisconsin’s votes. Stein’s campaign also moved ahead with recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania secured the Electoral College win for Trump.

Stein’s campaign had discussed a possible cyber-attack to alter election results that would focus on voting machines. On Nov. 29, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn rejected a request by Stein and Clinton to have all of Wisconsin’s presidential election votes counted by hand. County Clerk Janet Geisler said that the ruling didn’t affect Crawford County because the county does not have any optical scanners, so the recount had to be conducted by hand.

The recount didn’t cost the state of Wisconsin or Crawford County anything. Stein’s campaign paid $3.5 million to the state to cover the cost incurred by the State Elections Commission and each of the 72 counties. If additional costs  are incurred, Stein’s campaign will pay for them.

Bipartisan county canvassing boards, which include the county clerk and two other  members, oversee the process in their county in tandem with the staffers they assemble to conduct the recount. Observers can object to ballot determinations by recount officials.

About 90 percent of the votes cast in Wisconsin were on paper ballots. Most counties recounted them by hand, one ballot at a time. Other counties used optical scanners or a mix of the two methods.

About 10 percent of the votes were cast on electronic touch-screen machines like those used in Crawford County. For those votes, a paper receipt is created when the vote is cast, then verified for accuracy by the voter before they leave the polling place. Those receipts are what was recounted.

The recount must be completed by Dec. 13. If the recount is certified by Dec. 13, the state’s results are guaranteed under federal law to direct which candidate electors vote for on Dec. 19. If the recount is not certified by Dec. 13, Congress could vote to choose which candidate gets Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes. Governor Scott Walker would break any tie between the House and Senate.

Federal Judge James Peterson on Friday denied a request from supporters of Trump to stop the state’s presidential recount. Peterson set a Dec. 9 hearing for the lawsuit filed late Thursday by Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC. The Dec. 9 hearing is four days before the federal deadline to resolve election conflicts before a meeting of the Electoral College to formally select a new president.

There was also a recount for the Dan Kapanke, Jennifer Shilling, Chip DeNure race for the Wisconsin State Senate for District 32. Crawford, La Crosse, Vernon and Monroe counties were involved in the recount. 

Republican Kapanke last week requested a recount in his bid to unseat Democrat Shilling, alleging mistakes were made in the more than 130 voting wards that make up the 32nd Senate District.

Shilling, the Senate minority leader, won by just 56 votes in the Nov. 8 election.

The Kapanke, Shilling, DeNure recount in Crawford County was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 28 and Nov. 29.

In the Nov. 8 election, Kapanke received 4,080 votes in Crawford County. Shilling got 3,433. DeNure got 153.

The recount showed there were 7,667 total votes in Crawford County for the Senate District 32 race. Kapanke received 4,080 votes. Shilling got 3,431. DeNure got 156.

The Senate District 32 recount cost Crawford County taxpayers about $1,200.

District wide, the recount showed that Shilling won by 55 votes, one less than the original election results.

Shilling and Kapanke issued statements indicating the matter has been resolved.

“With the result of the race once again confirmed, I hope we can put this election behind us and continue moving forward on the issues that working families are concerned about. It’s time to get to work strengthening our schools, investing in infrastructure and expanding economic opportunities in our state,” said Shilling. “I want to thank all of the local election officials, poll workers, volunteers and observers who put in many long hours to protect the integrity of our electoral process and make sure every vote was counted. Once again, their efforts have resulted in another clean, open and transparent election in western Wisconsin.”

“Now that the recount is complete, I would like to congratulate Senator Jennifer Shilling on her win. I wish her the best, and know that when she returns to Madison she will represent all of the voters in the 32nd District. What a great responsibility and privilege for her to do so,” said Kapanke. “I requested this recount to ensure that each and every vote that was cast was recorded correctly and fairly. This recount has ensured that. This was a great campaign. I’m proud that we focused on the issues and talked about what we can all do to make Wisconsin a better place to live, work and raise a family. I would like to thank all of my supporters, friends and family for their encouragement and help. A special thanks is owed to my wonderful wife, Ruth. Her love and friendship mean the world to me.”

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