Recount Begins in Wisconsin

First statewide recount since 2004

Jill Stein, center, former Green Party candidate for president, successfully petitioned and fundraised for a recount in Wisconsin, which will last 14 days. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wisconsin is beginning a statewide recount of nearly 3 million votes Thursday in what no one expects to change the outcome of the presidential election.

Ballot counting machines will be used in the recount, despite Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's attempt to convince a judge to force a hand count. Stein has said she will not repeal the Wednesday ruling, the Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee reported. 

Stein’s campaign paid $3.5 million to cover the costs of the recount, which will be conducted through Dec. 13, and the Wisconsin Election Commission will attempt to gather and release daily recount information showing any tally differences.

Wisconsin was one of several states that had voted Democrat in recent elections that Republican Donald Trump won this year. No one really expects the recount to change the outcome of the election.  

On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Republican Party filed a federal elections complaint against Stein and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose campaign is supporting Stein’s efforts.

The complaint alleges Stein improperly fundraised for a recount that solely benefits Clinton, since Stein received such a small portion of the state's votes. 

“As outlined below, the Clinton campaign’s direct involvement in the recount process, which was announced well before the recount itself was paid for and finalized, demonstrates a clear link between the actions of the Stein campaign and the strategic goals of Hillary for America,” the complaint reads. 

Clinton’s campaign had no reaction to the complaint and a Stein spokesman dismissed it as a ploy for attention. 

“The FEC complaint is nothing but a (public relations) stunt to push a false narrative that will ultimately have no impact on the recount in Wisconsin,” campaign manager David Cobb told the Journal Sentinel.

Stein has also petitioned for a recount in Michigan. 

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