As a presidential election recount in three key states now appears likely to happen, the electoral college votes from at least one of those states and possibly all three could be in jeopardy — creating a situation that hasn’t been seen in 192 years and which could throw the election of the 45th president into the House of Representatives.
Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein — who is spearheading the election recount campaign — met the Friday deadline for filing a recount request in Wisconsin, and the state’s election board said that Wisconsin “is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes.”
But there is a second deadline, and if state fails to meet it, Wisconsin could lose all 10 of its electoral votes, which were set to go to Republican Donald Trump. The deadline for certifying those votes would be December 13, and according to a report on Friday in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper, that could be a big problem.
The last time Wisconsin held a recount in a statewide election came in a 2011 state Supreme Court contest and took more than month to complete. But that election saw only 1.5 million ballots cast.
The statewide recount in the presidential election would require a recount of nearly twice as many ballots — about 3 million — and the process would become even more cumbersome if Stein is successful in requiring a recount by hand, as she has said she prefers.
If the proposed Wisconsin recount is not completed on time, the state’s 10 Electoral College votes could be rendered void. In that scenario, Trump would be left with 296 electoral votes, which is still 26 more than the 270 needed to win the presidency.
But two other states, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Stein plans to demand a recount could cause even more severe turmoil.