A recount of Wisconsin’s general election results will start Thursday as scheduled after Green Party candidate Jill Stein paid the requisite $3.5 million before Tuesday’s deadline.
Counties will not be required to tabulate the results by hand, however, as Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn denied a request Wednesday from Stein’s campaign for a hand recount.
While Stein’s efforts for a hand recount were joined earlier in the day by Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Bailey-Rihn said she didn’t feel as though she could overrule the decisions of individual county clerks.
“It’s their decision, it’s their discretion,” Bailey-Rihn said. “I may disagree with it … but I must follow the law.”
The state argued that there was no evidence substantiating Stein’s claim that election machines in Wisconsin were subject to tampering, necessitating a hand recount.
But Stein’s lawyers countered with two witnesses, both of whom suggested the machines the state uses to count ballots could have been subject to cyber attack, despite not being connected to the internet.
J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan, said there was a significant chance that Republican Donald Trump’s upset win in Wisconsin could have been affected by tampering.
“I don’t think a cyber attack is orders of magnitude less likely than the deviation from the [pre-election] polls,” Halderman testified.
Stein and the America Delta Party’s Rocky De La Fuente filed for a recount in Wisconsin last week, alleging discrepancies in the number of ballots cast in certain counties. The Elections Commission estimated the cost of the recount at $3.5 million and confirmed they received payment from Stein’s
While Clinton’s campaign has acknowledged that there is little chance a recount will turn up a result radically different than Trump’s 22,000 vote victory in the Badger State, they have said they will still support the recount effort.
The recount will start Thursday, according to a timeline announced Monday by the Elections Commission. Federal law requires the state finish the recount by Dec. 13 and county clerks will have to work overtime to finish the recount in time, the Elections Commission said.
Stein’s campaign has said they will also file for a recount in Pennsylvania and Michigan.