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Scott Walker concedes governor's race to Tony Evers, will not request recount

Updated: 2:01 p.m. November 7, 2018

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Scott Walker says his campaign will not request a recount after being narrowly defeated by Democrat Tony Evers. 

Walker released the following statement after calling Tony Evers to concede the election for governor.

"First, I want to thank God. Win or lose, God’s abundant grace is more than enough for any of us.
Next, I want to thank my family.
My wife Tonette is amazing. She has been my rock and the core of our family. She has been a tremendous leader on addressing the issue of trauma. I love her so very much and am grateful that we will spend the rest of our lives together.
Our son Matt is amazing. He lives and works in Milwaukee and started a digital marketing firm with a few other guys this year called Platform Digital. We are so proud of him.
Our other son Alex is equally amazing. He worked for Leah Vukmir’s campaign as the political director and did an amazing job. We are so proud of him.
My mother has been unbelievable throughout my life – and again during this campaign. I am so grateful for her love and her example of how to love others.
It was great to travel with my brother, David, on Election Day. I am so glad that he, my sister-in-law, Maria, and my nieces Isabella and Eva live close by. I love them dearly.
Thanks to all our other family and close friends who’ve been with us every step of the way.
It was odd not having my Dad physically with me on Election Day. I know, however, that he is with our Heavenly Father and that brings me comfort for the future.
Thank you to all of our amazing supporters who worked so hard and gave so much of their time, talent and treasure to our efforts. I am so deeply grateful for their help!
Thank you to our campaign team and the team at the Party through the leadership of Joe and Keith, Brad and Mark. Thanks to R.J., Deb and Bill and the rest of the team.
Thanks to Eric and Ellen and all of our official staff and cabinet and the rest of the team in the administration. I am so thankful for their devotion to public service.
Thanks to Tony Evers for his gracious comments on our call today. I offered the full support of my staff and our cabinet as he begins the transition process.
Finally, thank you to the voters of the great State of Wisconsin. It has been my honor to serve as your Governor for nearly eight years. We’ve come a long way together and it is my sincere hope that the progress we’ve made during our time in office will continue and that we can keep Wisconsin working for generations to come.
Thank you and may God bless the people of Wisconsin."

The statement goes on to say Walker's campaign was waiting for more information on the 47,000 additional ballots from the City of Milwaukee, but later determined any change in the result would not be significant enough to determine the outcome of the election. Initial comments made by Lieutenent Governor Rebecca Kleefisch about the possibility of a recount were made when Walker had a slight lead over Evers, before the announcement of the additional Milwaukee ballots. 

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Posted: 10:18 a.m. November 7, 2018

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58/AP) -- The City of Milwaukee Election Commission has released a statement about reconstructed ballots after Governor Scott Walker's campaign alleged that "thousands of ballots were damaged and had to be recreated" in the election that saw Democrat Tony Evers score a narrow victory.

“In each election, there are absentee ballots that have to be reconstructed due to voter error or damage to the ballot. Examples of voter errors include marking X’s on ballots or using pencil to mark the ballot. Damage to the ballots can occur during the mail processing of the ballot. With this election, ballots were also damaged during the sealing of the envelope at in-person absentee voting. If adhesive from the envelope transferred onto the ballot, the ballot was reconstructed rather than risk any compromise to the tabulators ability to read all votes on the ballot.”
“The process for reconstructing a ballot is entirely transparent, dictated by state law and was followed by the City of Milwaukee. Primarily, the process involves two election workers ensuring the voter's candidate selections are copied from the unreadable or damaged ballot to a new ballot. Observers from all political parties as well as the public were present for the reconstruction of all damaged absentee ballots.”
“The city estimates that around 2,000 of 47,500 absentee ballots were reconstructed during the processing of absentee ballots.”
“In 2016, the City of Milwaukee, along with a coalition of Wisconsin clerks, advocated to the Legislature for Wisconsin to join other states and offer "true" early voting, where tabulators are used during the early voting process. A change to this process would have expedited the release of election night results and significantly reduced the volume of ballots that had to be reconstructed.”

Walker campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger says until the ballots can be examined, there is no way to judge their validity.

Reisinger also says that Walker wants to see the official canvas of the vote and for military ballots to be counted "before any decision can be made."

Counties have until 9 a.m. Tuesday to canvas the vote.

Gov. Scott Walker's first comments since his election defeat are coming via Twitter, with the posting of a Bible verse.

Shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday, Walker tweeted the Psalm "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."



Walker's father, Llew Walker, was a Baptist preacher who died in October.

Unofficial results show that Evers defeated Walker by just over 1 percentage point. Only candidates who lose by less than a point can request a recount.

Evers declared victory early Wednesday morning.

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