MILWAUKEE- In an election that carried with it a theme of ‘moving on’; states like Wisconsin are finding it hard to do.
Despite trailing President-elect Joe Biden by roughly 20-thousand votes in the Badger State, President Trump’s campaign team says it plans on calling for a recount. His camp echoing sentiments shared by a former political rival; Jill Stein.
Stein won just over 31-thousand votes as the Green Party candidate in Wisconsin in 2016, far fewer than that of President Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, whom received 1.5 million and 1.4 million votes respectively. Still, that discrepancy didn’t stop the party from successfully campaigning for a full recount.
“My goal was not for my campaign to win the election, that was never even a theoretical footnote in our concerns,” Stein told WTMJ during a recent phone interview. “We were in a setting in 2016 where there were reports of state voter databases being hacked, a sharp increase in the number of absentee votes that were not explained, and I must say voting machines were far less secure than they are now.”
Stein’s campaign footed the bill for the 2016 recount to the tune of roughly $2,000,000 in Wisconsin alone. That number ballooned to more than $3,000,000 when you factor in recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Stein says her goal with the recount was to draw attention to what she sees as lapses in the voting public’s trust when it comes to election results.
“In a situation when we are using all this electronic technology, it’s important to do a hand recount,” Stein said nearly four years later. “Hand counts and routine audits are necessary for election integrity and voting justice because there’s so many problems, it takes a big change to create elections we can trust.”
Wisconsin Election Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe says a recount this year would likely come with a larger price tag than what the Stein campaign paid in 2016.
“Especially given COVID and the need for larger spaces to make sure that we can accommodate the staff for the recount and observers safely is a major factor in this,” Wolfe said Thursday. The fact that the recount would take place over the Thanksgiving holiday could also increase costs as ballot counters would be eligible for holiday pay.