Three full days into the Wisconsin statewide recount of the 2016 presidential election race, reports continue to pour in from the designated election observers who have been watching over the shoulders of the officials doing the recounts. There has been significant controversy over the fact that Milwaukee County, the largest in the state, has refused to do a hand recount and is instead merely doing a machine recount. And observers have already uncovered discrepancies with the Milwaukee ballots.
The designated recount observers representing the Jill Stein campaign have been logging their findings on her official campaign website. In various counties it’s resulted in evidence that the confusingly worded ballot caused voters to fill it out wrong in a manner which the vote counting machines initially missed. Observers have also flagged five vote counting machines whose security seals have been tampered with. But the report coming from a Milwaukee observer may be the most eyebrow raising.
The designated Jill Stein observer in Milwaukee County observer posted the following on Friday: “Discrepancies noted in absentee ballots which were resolved promptly by Milwaukee County Election Commission. Plan on return to same location on Monday morning at 8:30 am.” The good news, in terms of election integrity, is that these votes now have a chance to be correctly counted. The bad news in that regard is that his was only caught because the election observer was there monitoring – and far more such ballots may be being overlooked by officials,
The brief report filed by the observer is evidence that vote counting problems and discrepancies in Milwaukee County do exist, and would seem to help bolster the case for the county performing a hand recount in order to get the most accurate results. Bizarrely, according to the Wisconsin official election website, Milwaukee County is charging Jill Stein more than half a million dollars for a simple machine recount, which is far more than any other Wisconsin county is charging for a far more labor intensive hand recount.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report