Even as the Wisconsin recount approaches its end, two distinct trends have emerged. The first is that most counties have voluntarily gone along with a hand recount and some have discovered discrepancies, but it haven’t resulted in enough of a vote total shift to change the outcome. The second is that a handful of counties have been flagged by observers for everything from improper counting to suspicious behavior to tampered machine seals to illegally hiding their work from observers – and all of these counties have refused to do hand recounts for what seem like obvious reasons.
As such, attorney Chris Sautter, who has been advising the Jill Stein campaign during the course of the recount effort, has published a lengthy public letter calling for a federal lawsuit to force the controversy-plagued counties in question to go back and count the votes by hand. In his letter he highlights a number of strange and suspicious developments out of Waukesha and St. Croix Counties in particular, many of which Palmer Report has been reporting on in real time for the past week, even as most other news outlets have been ignoring the controversy entirely.
For instance earlier this week Palmer Report reported that the Stein campaign had accused Waukesha County officials of hiding ballots from observers, in violation of the law. And last week Palmer Report reported that the seals on five vote counting machines in St. Croix had been violated, along with photographic evidence.
We’ve gotten this information directly from designated recount observers in Wisconsin who have been reaching out to Palmer Report, as well as their reports filed on Stein’s website. Despite the readily available nature of this information, most other news outlets have simply chosen to ignore these development rather than report them. And a few rogue news sites have dishonestly attempted to scandalize Palmer Report’s recount reporting, instead of bothering to cover the recount themselves. But the upshot is that nearly every assertion and accusation contained in Sautter’s letter is rather easily verifiable.
Palmer Report also documented how the confusingly worded Wisconsin ballot had caused some votes to mark their ballots in ways the machines had missed – a pattern which was only discovered in counties where hand recounts have been performed (yet another storyline the major media outlets have made a point of ignoring). Sautter makes the case that a forced hand recount in places like Waukesha could have a much larger impact on the voting totals, and he flatly states that it is “urgent to file this lawsuit immediately.”
In fact, with Donald Trump having won Waukesha County by 66,320 votes, but having won the entire state by just over twenty thousand votes, a hand recount in that one county alone could flip the winner of the state. That is, of course, if the above suspicious goings-on in Waukesha turn out to be widespread across precincts. That’s something reporters on the ground in Wisconsin could help expose. Once again, Palmer Report is calling on major news outlets in the state and elsewhere to begin properly reporting on the Wisconsin recount in general – and on the growing instances of inconsistencies and suspicious behavior in Waukesha in particular – in the proper manner, instead of continuing to ignore it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report