As the statewide Wisconsin recount continues to get underway, the recount observers representing various presidential candidates have been sharing their first hand experiences online. Observers in some counties have found no issues at all, while others have reported concerns and suspicious incidents. But one recount observer Waukesha County is now making the flat out accusation that county officials are purposely double counting Donald Trump’s votes and pulling other shenanigans during the recount.
The accusation comes from recount observer John West, who has been documenting his experiences on his own publicly visible Facebook page. On Sunday evening he flatly declared that “I’m calling out fraud.” West went on to make the following specific accusations: “Waukesha County Wisconsin is obstructing the recount blatantly. Making up rules to shut out allowed observers. Double counting Republican ballots. Taking machines out and returning machines that break down after midnight hoping to avoid any observers.”
In the comments section of his own post, linked above, he went on to elaborate that “They aren’t invalidating clear duplicate and unsigned ballots that were mailed in,” thus explaining how the double-counting is taking place.
Update: West’s post has since been removed from Facebook (or possibly turned into a private post) for unknown reasons. However, we took a screen capture of it before it disappeared:
We’re reaching out to Mr. West to ascertain whether he took the post down voluntarily, or if he’s made the post private, or if something else transpired. His Facebook page is still visible but without the post in question.
These are serious accusations of improper behavior, which if proven true would represent criminal fraud. We’re reaching out to Mr. West to determine what evidence he has in terms of documenting the behavior in question. But the mere fact that a Wisconsin observer is making these accusations is newsworthy in and of itself, as he claims to have witnessed all of the above with his own eyes. This is particularly notable in that Waukesha is one of just twelve Wisconsin counties (out of seventy-two) which have are refusing to a hand recount, instead relying on a machine recount.
The official Waukesha County vote totals, according to Politico’s tally, have Donald Trump ahead by 66,320 votes. These accusations by the recount observer call into question whether Trump legitimately received as many votes in Waukesha as the official numbers claim. Considering that Trump only leads in Wisconsin by around 20,000 votes statewide, any significant shift in Waukesha’s totals could give the state to Hillary Clinton.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report