Post-Election Update II: Potential Recount, Voting Equipment Audits, Provisional Balots, Absentee Ballots
MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Elections Commission is providing the following updates:
- All 72 Wisconsin counties have now reported official election results to the Commission and staff is conducting data quality checks prior to certification of the results next week. The Commission is required to wait until the recount deadline for any statewide office expires at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 25 and is required to certify results by December 1, but could do so a day or two earlier. Public notice will be given prior to certification. Official results will not be released until certified.
- The Commission is continuing to prepare for a potential recount in State Senate District 32. Official results from Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe and Vernon counties indicate Dan Kapanke received 43,514 votes, Jennifer Shilling received 43,570 votes and Chip DeNure received 2,093 votes. There is no automatic recount, and the deadline for Mr. Kapanke to request a recount is 5 p.m. Wednesday. The Commission staff will hold a conference call with county clerks on Tuesday morning to discuss preparations for a possible recount. Counties may, but will not be required to, begin a recount earlier than Monday, November 28.
- The Commission has begun the post-election voting equipment audit process, as required by state statutes. More than 100 reporting units have been randomly selected for hand-count audits, and the affected clerks have been notified to complete the audits by December 15. The purpose of the audit is to ensure that voting equipment used in Wisconsin is accurately counting ballots according to federal standards, which is 1 error in 500,000 ballots. It is not to verify the accuracy of voting equipment prior to certification of the results. If a piece of equipment did not meet standards (which has never happened since audits began in 2006), the Elections Commission could order the municipality or county with defective equipment to take remedial action (such as getting new equipment). Details about the audit are here: http://elections.wi.gov/node/4412.
- Preliminary numbers indicate there were at least 750 provisional ballots cast. Of those, there were 618 issued because the voter did not have an acceptable photo ID. The other reasons for a provisional ballot are the voter was unable to provide a driver license number when registering to vote on Election Day (113) or, in limited cases for individuals registering prior to April, 2014, the voter was unable to provide a proof-of-residence document (46).
- Final numbers of how many provisional ballots were counted and rejected are not yet available. Of the 618 photo ID provisional ballots, there were 116 counted, 278 rejected and 224 with no information reported on their status. By another measure, 399 ballots are marked as Deadline Expired, an indicator they were not counted.
- As of November 15, 830,763 returned absentee ballots had been recorded in the Commission’s WisVote system by municipal clerks for counting on Election Day. That would be approximately 27.9 percent of the total vote cast by absentee ballot, compared to 21.57 percent in 2012. There were 666,846 in-person absentee ballots cast in clerks’ offices. Absentee ballot statistics are available here: http://elections.wi.gov/publications/statistics/absentee.
Recent Press Releases by Wisconsin Elections Commission
All voters will have the opportunity to elect a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice (uncontested) and the Superintendent of Public Instruction (contested) on Tuesday.
"A further reduction in program positions will significantly curtail the agency’s ability to provide vital and timely services to candidates, county and municipal election officials, and voters,” Commissioners wrote to legislators."