A recount of the more than 70,000 Marathon County votes cast in the Nov. 8 election is now underway, with officials and paid volunteers working long hours to meet the Dec. 12 deadline.
The recount, requested by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, comes amid claims that hackers could have tampered with electronic voting machines, and the fact that Donald Trump won Wisconsin by 22,177 votes, a margin of less than 1%. So far, however, no solid evidence of tampering has emerged. Stein also filed a lawsuit in Dane County asking that a judge require the recount be done by hand, but that request was denied.
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Regardless, Marathon County officials will recount ballots by hand, which Clerk Nan Kottke says will take less time and be just as accurate.
To complete the recount, ballots will be sorted into piles by candidate, then counted and recounted several times. Poll books will be compared from each polling place.
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Kottke says she anticipates having enough staff to complete the recount before the deadline, but says the task will be “overwhelming.”
Stein is expected to pay the Wisconsin Elections Commission nearly $3.5 million for expenses related to the recount. Marathon County’s share is estimated at $119,000.