Day 8 of the Wisconsin recount followed the same pattern as the days that came before: Candidates won and lost votes, but nothing came close to altering Donald Trump’s November 8 victory.
The Wisconsin Election Commission reported that Hillary Clinton was up a net 61 votes on day 8. That’s the figure that matters; however, that’s an insignificant number considering that Donald Trump leads by about 22,000 votes in Wisconsin overall. Green Party nominee Jill Stein spent $3.5 million on the Wisconsin recount.
(Update: You can now see specific tallies for day 9 here. They show that Clinton is now up a net 49 votes with 88.58% of votes completed. The City of Milwaukee is still not included in the tallies, leaving it a big mystery.)
On December 9, a judge said he was rejecting Trump supporters’ legal bid to stop the recount.
However, there was also a report that an election observer from Indianapolis named Amber Cleveland was going to allege in a press conference that she observed election irregularities in Republican stronghold, Waukesha County, at the urging of the Democratic secretary of state.
On December 7, the Election Commission had decried claims it said were being made on “fake news” sites about Waukesha County, writing, “Votes for Trump/Pence are not being counted twice in Waukesha County. Ballots can be inserted in scanners face up or face down. Before ballots are scanned, campaign representatives have already had a chance to view and question them.”
“The results of the election are not going to change in this recount,” Joe Czarnezki, Milwaukee County clerk said to Fox 6 Milwaukee on December 8.
There’s one big caveat though: The City of Milwaukee recounted results are still unknown. That’s because Milwaukee has still not added its absentee ballots into the Election Commission spreadsheet.
The city wards show huge deficits for each candidate, but they are misleading until the absentee votes are counted. That leaves Milwaukee a big question mark, and it’s obviously the populous area where Hillary Clinton would be most likely to gain votes as it historically skews Democratic.
However, it’s looking like Milwaukee’s totals will soon be known. WISN TV-Milwaukee says Milwaukee is now complete; however, as of late evening on December 9, the returns still had not materialized without explanation as to why not. WISN-TV Milwaukee quoted Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki as saying all Milwaukee ballots had now been counted. He told the TV station only “minor errors” were found; Channel 12 said reports were being finalized and data needed to be entered.
As of 9:30 a.m. CST, though, on December 9, Milwaukee’s final totals had yet to be posted by the Election Commission.
The Wisconsin Election Commission reported on on December 8 that 82 percent of ballots had been recounted and 53 of 72 counties are done with their recounts, up from 70% of ballots the day before. According to the Commission:
“Including the December 7 results, Trump/Pence are up 495 votes, Clinton/Kaine are up 556 votes, Castle/Bradley are up 20 votes, Johnson/Weld are up 63 votes, Stein/Baraka are up 64 votes, Moorehead/Lilly are up 8 votes, and De la Fuente/Steinberg are up 15 votes.”
However, the Commission noted, “Trump/Pence originally led Clinton/Kaine by 22,177. So far, not including the City of Milwaukee, Clinton/Kaine have gained 61 more votes than Trump/Pence, but still trail.”
As the recount chugged along, there was still legal maneuvering attempting to stop it. The Trump supporters who had sought to halt the recount say it’s unfair because it’s not uniformly conducted (some counties are conducting hand counts, and others are not, for example.) The hearing was underway on the morning of December 9.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, a federal court will conduct a hearing on December 9 as well into Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s request for a recount in that state. In Michigan, a federal judge has ended the recount there saying Stein had no standing to ask for it; in Nevada, a partial recount requested by Independent candidate Rocky De La Fuente into the state Clinton won resulted in only 15 votes falling off for both Trump and Clinton combined.
The Wisconsin recount has found a smattering of errors throughout the state; they just aren’t big enough in number to make a difference. You can see county-by-county spreadsheets with recount tallies and original canvassed numbers here.
Here’s what the Election Commission reported as reasons for Day 8 changes:
“Dane County: 20 Absentee ballots were left in their certificate envelopes on Election Night for the City of Madison Ward 29.
Eau Claire County: Decrease of 48 votes in City of Eau Claire Ward 36 due to human error during original Board of Canvass. -18 Votes for Trump/Pence, -30 votes for Clinton/Kaine.
Grant County: Recount vote totals for City of Platteville Wards 7-9 adjusted from Election Day totals due to discrepancies discovered during hand recount. Ward reported tabulator issues on Election Day.
Juneau County: Corrected Day 7 vote counts for Town Lyndon Wards 1-3. Trump/Pence now accurately reflect a total of 328 votes.
Manitowoc County: Increase of 9 votes in City of Manitowoc Wards 3-4, 22, increase of 11 votes in City of Manitowoc Wards 15-16, and an increase of 24 votes in City of Manitowoc Wards 19-20, 27 due to ballots that were marked incorrectly on Election Day. Voter intent was determined during recount canvass.
Outagamie County: Increase of 13 votes in Town of Grand Chute Wards 11-14 due to ballots that were marked incorrectly on Election Day. Voter intent was determined during recount canvass. +7 votes for Trump/Pence and +6 votes for Clinton/Kaine.
Price County: Net change of 10 votes in Town of Lake Wards 1-2 due to tally errors on Election Night.
Waukesha County: Increase of 12 votes in City of Brookfield Ward 5. Recount Board of Canvass determined absentee ballots originally rejected on Election Day were valid.”
You can see county-by-county net gain and loss statistics for day 8 here.