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Recount will Cost $3.5 Million

The bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission has given a recount cost estimate of nearly $3.5 million to the campaigns of Green Party candidate Jill Stein and independent candidate Rocky Roque De La Fuente.

For the recount to go forward, one or both of the candidates will have to pay $3,499,689 to the Commission by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Commission Administrator Michael Haas. Both recount petitioners have been advised of the cost estimate.

At a meeting earlier today, the Commission directed staff to assess the full estimated recount fee to both petitioning candidates unless the candidates each submit payment for one-half of the total estimated cost.

“County Clerks have done their best to estimate the actual costs of conducting a large recount in a relatively short time,” said Haas. “The estimates may vary widely as some clerks may not have been able to precisely identify their estimated costs in the short time available to them. If the estimate turns out to be too high, the campaign will receive a refund. If the estimate is too low, they will have to pay the additional cost.”

Wisconsin’s 72 County Clerks expect to hire thousands of temporary workers to assist the county boards of canvassers in recounting the ballots. They also expect to be working extra hours and weekends to finish the recount by 8 p.m. Monday, December 12, the deadline established by the Commission today.  The Commission will certify results by 3 p.m. Tuesday, December 13.

The Commission’s role in a recount is to order the recount, to provide legal guidance to the counties during the recount, and to certify the results.  If the candidates disagree with the results of the recount, the law gives them the right to appeal in circuit court within five business days after the recount is completed.  The circuit court is where issues are resolved that may be discovered during the recount but are not resolved to the satisfaction of the candidates.

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