With Day 10 of the Wisconsin 2016 election recount now in the books, and only two days left before state election workers face their deadline for recounting all of the state’s 2,975,313 ballots, the recount results show only slight, largely insignificant changes in the results for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
But whether the state will have the full recount finished in time to meet Monday’s deadline for state election workers to wrap up the job remains an open question. The federal deadline for resolving all issues about who the state’s Electoral College voters should cast ballots for on December 19 is Tuesday. If Wisconsin fails to hit that deadline, the fate of the state’s 10 electoral voters could be thrown into doubt.
The state elections commission said that ballots from 95 percent of all Wisconsin precincts have now been recounted. So far, Trump has picked up 628 new votes, while Clinton has added to her total by 653. That’s a net pickup of 25 votes for Clinton — nowhere near close to the 22,178 votes she would need to gain in order to reverse the results of the election on Wisconsin and claim the state’s 10 electoral votes.
The Wisconsin recount was forced by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who won just 1.04 percent of the vote in the state, finishing fourth behind Trump, Clinton and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
On Friday, a federal judge in a lawsuit brought by Trump supporters trying to stop the Wisconsin recount ruled that the recount could continue.
“The relief you’re asking for is so clearly unwarranted,” U.S. District Judge James Peterson told lawyers for the Trump supporters. “The recount looks like it’s going smoothly and competently. It’s not going to have any impact on whether the electoral college meets or who takes office.”
State officials say they are on track to meet the deadlines, according to postings on the Wisconsin Election Commission web site. But one county, Dane — home to the liberal city of Madison and the University of Wisconsin campus based there — is reportedly counting ballots by hand and has still not reported its recount results.
Though Donald Trump won the state of Wisconsin by only 0.7 percentage points, Democrat Hillary Clinton dominated Dane County, crushing Trump there with more than 70 percent of the vote, to just 23 for the Republican who went on to become president-elect.
The shortage of recounted votes from Dane County has led at least one Republican congressman from Wisconsin to accuse what he called the “Communist” county of slowing down its recount effort deliberately, in an attempt to miss the deadline.
“We only have one county that’s hand counting the votes, that’s Dane County, which is the home of Madison,” Sean Duffy said in a Fox News interview last week. “It’s the progressive-liberal-Communist community of Madison.”
In reality, according to a study by PolitiFact, 47 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties conduct hand recounts, with another 13 using a combination of hand recounts and optical scanners.
In another odd development, two areas in Wisconsin — the City of Ashland and County of Bayfield — have reported that their internet servers they use to post their online results and other information have noticed an unusual amount of traffic that analytics reveal to be originating in Russia.
The spike in Russian traffic has been going on since March, according to a cyber security expert who works on contract for Ashland.
“When I separated out just Russian traffic, there was a huge spike from about March 15 of this year,” security specialist Eric Ellison told the Ashland Daily Press newspaper. “That spike was probably 20 to 30 times greater than any other spike in Russian traffic to the city’s website,” he said. “It has been pretty much sustained from March on, all the way through the election period.”
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that according to a previously undisclosed Central Intelligence Agency assessment, Russian intelligence agencies had staged cyber attacks with the express purpose of tampering with the election to favor Trump.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]