Wisconsin has finished its 2016 presidential election recount, and Donald Trump’s more than 22,000-vote lead grew by 131 votes when all was said and done. Trump has been formally certified as Wisconsin’s victor.
The Wisconsin Election Commission announced the final tallies on December 12, the day before the state’s deadline for certifying its results. The Electoral College meets December 19.
Here’s what the Election Commission reported:
Donald Trump received 1,405,284 votes in the recount compared to 1,404,440 in the original canvass.
Hillary Clinton received 1,382,536 votes in the recount compared to 1,381,823 in the recount.
The original margin between the top two candidates was 22,617 votes.
After the recount, the margin is 22,748.
After the recount, Trump’s margin over Clinton increased by just 131 votes. (You can see detailed spreadsheets from the Wisconsin Election Commission here.)
A series of errors were found in wards and cities throughout the state. They ranged from voters using improper pens to jammed ballots. However, they simply did not amount to enough to move the needle, especially because both Trump and Clinton gained and lost votes, cancelling out each other’s gains. One ward in Milwaukee County alone helped boost Trump’s totals. The Election Commission noted, “Milwaukee County: Increase of 246 votes in City of Milwaukee Ward 34 due to a discrepancy in the original results. The total ballots for Trump/Pence should have been 254 instead of the 8 reported.” Milwaukee County completed its results December 8, but did not report them to the state until December 12.
“The biggest reason for these small differences between the unofficial results on Election Night, the counties original canvasses and the recount results is human error,” said WEC Administrator Michael Haas in a press statement. “Some voters do not follow the instructions and mark their ballots correctly for the machines can count them. In the tight deadlines to report the results, election officials make math mistakes, we forget things, we accidentally transpose numbers. ”
“That said, this recount was a remarkable job by Wisconsin’s local election officials – county clerks and municipal clerks and their staffs, canvass board members, tabulators – most of whom did not know until the Monday after Thanksgiving that we would likely have a recount of the presidential election in Wisconsin,” Haas said in the statement. “Three days later they were starting the recount, and all counties were done with the counting process within 10 days.”
The Wisconsin recount was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Stein shelled out $3.5 million in donor money to force the recount, alleging the unproven possibility of hacking or election manipulation. However, election officials attributed any changes to human error.
Stein also requested recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but was stymied in court in both states. Trump won the presidency with the upset victories in the trifecta of rust-belt states that had not voted Republican for president since the 1980s. Trump will be in Wisconsin for a rally in suburban Milwaukee County on December 13.
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