FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 21, 2017
Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831
Rep. Tusler’s Recount Reform Bill Passes Assembly
Bill Prevents Frivolous Recounts, Ensures Counties and State Get Reimbursed
Madison, WI – Today, the State Assembly passed Representative Ron Tusler’s (R – Harrison) bill that institutes changes to Wisconsin’s recount procedures.
“I am glad the Assembly passed these common-sense reforms to Wisconsin’s recount procedures,” said Rep. Tusler. “When you look at the chaos and stress caused by the Jill Stein recount last November, and considering Wisconsin’s electoral votes were in jeopardy of not being counted because of the recount, these reforms reflect respect for the will of the voters and the hardworking County Clerks and election volunteers across the state.”
The bill defines candidates who may request a recount as a candidate who trails the leading candidate by 1% or less of total votes cast, or in an election with fewer than 4,000 votes, 40 votes or less. The largest margin in a statewide recount in Wisconsin where the result changed was .12%. Seven other states (Delaware, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah and Virginia) limit recounts to candidates within 1% or less of the leading candidate.
Jill Stein, Green Party 2016 presidential candidate, requested a recount in Wisconsin after trailing Donald Trump by 46%, more than 1.3 million votes. Under the bill, Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton would have been eligible to request a recount, but Jill Stein would not.
Other reforms in the bill include shortening the deadline by two days to request a recount in a presidential election to ensure that Wisconsin’s electoral votes are cast in time to be counted. County Clerks will also have 15 extra days to tabulate costs associated with a recount and submit them for reimbursement. The bill also closes a loophole that prevented the Wisconsin Election Commission from getting reimbursed for recount-related costs.
“County Clerks can breathe a little easier with the extra time we give them to prepare for the massive undertaking that is a presidential recount and tabulate their expected costs,” said Rep. Tusler.
The bill now heads to the State Senate for a vote. Governor Walker has indicated he supports reforms to Wisconsin’s recount process.