Even as Wisconsin officials say they’re preparing for a statewide recount of the 2016 vote totals after third party candidate Jill Stein raised enough funds to cover the cost of it, the nation is left to wonder whether it might result in Hillary Clinton being named the winner of the state. But before the recount has even begun, evidence of either gross negligence or foul play has been exposed in three Wisconsin precincts – which had resulted in quite a number of phantom votes given to Donald Trump – and the vote totals have been revised accordingly.
The story goes like this: after Wisconsin posted its voting totals, various internet users who looked at the numbers noticed the same discrepancy. Three precincts in Outagamie County were each claiming that more people had voted in the presidential race than had voted at all. That’s not possible, of course. So after it became a minor online controversy, those precincts each revised their totals. The result: more than a thousand imaginary votes for Donald Trump came off the board from those three precincts alone, as first noted by Dan Solomon of Fast Company.
Here’s the explanation which local officials offered to an ABC News affiliate to explain the discrepancy: “In order to give election returns to the Outagamie County Clerk’s office as quickly as possible the Chief Inspector added together the votes from the election machine tapes. An error was made while keying the numbers on the calculator during this process resulting in an incorrect number of votes reported on Election night.”
But for this to be believed, one would have to accept that the same honest error was made in three precincts – and that in all of them, Donald Trump was a huge beneficiary of that math error. Moreover, Hillary Clinton’s vote totals didn’t change at all in these three precincts. It was simply a matter of three precincts padding Donald Trump’s totals with imaginary votes that they now acknowledge never really existed. How many more Wisconsin precincts may have used the same method to boost Trump, with tallies that weren’t so immediately recognizable as being phony? The upcoming statewide recount should provide answers.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report