GOP lawmakers in WI want recount restrictions - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

GOP lawmakers in WI want recount restrictions

Eau Claire (WQOW) - -

Some Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin want to restrict who is allowed to ask for a recount after an election. 

The bill would only let aggrieved candidates petition for a recount, meaning the candidate would have to be within one percent of the winner's vote total.

The one percent rule would apply to recounts for an election with at least 4,000 votes. If fewer than 4,000 votes were cast, then the candidate wanting a recount must be within 40 votes of the winner. 

The bill is in direct response to the presidential recount in fall of 2016, forced by Green Party Candidate Jill Stein. Had the rule been in place in 2016, Stein could not have forced the recount of Wisconsin's presidential election. 

News 18 spoke with Donna Austad, the city clerk for Eau Claire, about the proposed recount restrictions. "It does reassure the public, so in that respect it is helpful," Austad said. "Are there other things we could have been doing following a Presidential election, oh yes! There are a lot of things we could have been doing other than the recount." 

Austad also said the rules surrounding elections are always changing, so she's not surprised a new one was introduced following the 2016 vote.

One thing that would stay the same, regarding the recount bill, is that taxpayers are left paying for the recount only if the difference is within one-quarter of a percentage point. 

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