Lincoln County to recount presidential ballots by hand
Lincoln County is participating in a statewide recount of the Nov. 8 presidential election. The recount in Lincoln County is set to begin Monday, Dec. 5, at 8 a.m. at the Lincoln County Service Center. Recounts in all counties need to be completed by Dec. 13.
Lincoln County Clerk Chris Marlowe said he expects the recount here to take three days, which is how long it took the county to complete the most recent presidential recount in 2011. Lincoln County will need 16 workers to recount the presidential votes.
“We are planning to count two municipalities at a time,” Marlowe said. “There will be three stations for each municipal count and we will need two workers per station. We will also need one person at the door and our three Board of Canvass members.”
The recount in Wisconsin is being driven by Jill Stein, who was the Green Party presidential candidate in the Nov. 8 election. As required by Wisconsin law, she has put up $3.5 million to order the recount. Stein has raised more than $6 million to pursue recounts in Wisconsin, as well as Michigan and Pennsylvania. All costs of the recount are the responsibility of the petitioner.
In her petition for the recount, Stein stated she “believes that an irregularity has occurred affecting all wards in Wisconsin in the county and return of votes casts for the office of President.” Stein is suggesting that there was election tampering, possibly from outside the U.S.
Her reason for requesting the recount, Stein said, is based on a belief that foreign operators breached voter registration databases in at least two states and stole hundreds of thousands of voter records.
Wisconsin uses two forms of electronic voting machines, optical scan and direct-recording electronic – both of which, Stein states, are susceptible to compromise. “For the last decade, computer scientists have warned about the vulnerabilities of these machines, including that they can be breached without detection and even after certain security measures are put in place,” Stein stated.
Stein and Clinton had asked that the ballots be hand-counted in Wisconsin. However, a judge has denied that request. Still, 56 counties – including Lincoln County – have said they plan to recount the votes by hand.
“We believe this will produce faster totals when only counting the one race,” Marlowe said. “Plus, this will give us a chance to restore the public’s confidence in our system if needed.”
Another minor party presidential candidate, Rocky De La Fuente, was the first to file a recount petition in Wisconsin. After Stein filed her petition, he withdrew his and then almost immediately filed for a recount in Nevada.
“I’ve made this decision for a number of reasons,” said De La Fuente. “First, Wisconsin obviously made a recount cost-prohibitive for a citizen with standing. Jill (Stein) was able to tap into a Democratic base of donors to raise more than $6.2 million in just a few days, so she can afford to pursue the issue there.”
De La Fuente noted that Stein was able to garner donations and support from Democrats as Hillary Clinton narrowly lost in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Nevada was won by Clinton. In De La Fuente’s opinion, there are a lot of similarities between the Nevada and Wisconsin scenarios except for who won.
“I’m only interested in validating the election and exposing the vulnerabilities I believe exist in our current system,” De La Fuente said. “I’m not trying to change the results. If that happens, so be it, but I’m not trying to force it.”
De La Fuente says he picked Nevada to balance out the recount and force the media to focus on the need for substantive reform to maintain the integrity of the Nation’s elections.
“Hillary (Clinton) won Nevada by a narrow margin almost identical to that of President-elect Trump’s in Wisconsin,” said De La Fuente. “Why not audit Nevada’s results as well?”