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A Recount Of The 21st Senate District Recall? Wanggaard Undecided

With less than 800 votes making the difference, John Lehman is the unofficial winner of the 21st Senate recall election race to unseat Sen. Van Wanggaard. However, hundreds of absentee ballots have yet to be counted.

Unofficially, former state Sen. John Lehman unseated Sen. Van Wanggaard in the recall election for the 21st Senate District race.

Final, but-yet-to-be certified, election results show Lehman with a 1 percent lead over Wanggaard: 49.7 percent to 48.63 percent of the vote. A Democratic win means the state Senate would be under Democratic control. But there’s an asterisk at the end of these vote totals since hundreds of absentee ballots haven’t been counted, and the election hasn't been certified.

At midnight, Wanggaard said he felt the race was too close to call. As of Wednesday morning, he had not conceded the race. He issued a statement just before noon saying that while he is being urged to demand an immediate recount, he's going to wait until after the county completes their board of canvass.

Over 70,000 people voted yesterday in a historic election. We know that there are a number of outstanding absentee ballots, voting irregularities, and that there were problems across the county in the unofficial tally of ballots. People across the state and country have asked that I immediately ask for a recount. However, we all know that the best decisions are made when well-rested and after consideration of all options. We will closely monitor the canvass of votes with legal representation. We will evaluate our options regarding recounts following the official count of ballots.

A representative with Wanggaard's campaign would not comment further on the reference to "voting irregularities."

Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen said all election results are unofficial until the county completes its Board of Review, which can't take place until each community conducts their own. But before any of that happens, Christensen and her deputies are busy verifying by hand the results transmitted last night.

"It takes all day," she noted. "And the municipalities have until 4 pm today to get their ballots and tapes here to the county."

There's also the question of absentee ballots. Christensen said there are 581 outstanding absentee ballots and seven provisional ballots yet to be counted and/or received in each community. Voters had to have their absentee ballot postmarked by June 5 and their municipal clerks have to receive them by 4 pm Friday to count.

Christensen said there's no telling how many of those will come in if she uses even the May 8 primary as a benchmark.

"We had 600 or 650 at that time, and only 30 or 40 came made it back in time to be counted," she added. "Really, it's anyone's guess as to how many might come in by Friday."

As for reports that the clerk's office won't declare a winner, Christensen reminds residents that it's not the clerk's job to declare a winner with unofficial results.

Since the margin of difference is more than one-half of one percent, Wanggaard would have to pay for a recount if he requests one. He has three days after the county finishes its Board of Canvass to make that decision.

Meanwhile, Lehman declared victory just before 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, before the unofficial vote totals were counted because he had poll watchers in the precincts.

Brad Wojciechowski, Communications Director for Lehman’s campaign said Lehman won the race by 779 votes.

“We have a new majority after the voters in the 21st District decided to restore checks and balances in our state government,” he said. “Majority leader Mark Miller will be willing to talk to the governor and assembly Republicans at any time in a responsible manner and not just to play it out for the media.”

James R Hoffa June 08, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Exit polls are highly inaccurate as not everyone is polled and there is no guarantee that those who are polled answer the poll questions honestly, is there? Also, how do we know if the person taking the exit poll was accurately recording the information received from those being polled, as there's no safeguards in place to assure the integrity of the exit poll, is there? Not to mention that it matters where such polls are being conducted, doesn't it? And exit polling can be conducted in a very partisan fashion, just like any other poll. They are essentially meaningless and have no bearing in today's reality.
dee50 June 08, 2012 at 06:34 AM
@Hoffa-Here's some information that will answer your first question regarding Obama's win. http://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/tag/unadjusted-exit-polls/ Regarding Kloppyy/Prosser, Kathy Nickolaus worked for Prosser years ago when he was a Republican assemblyman in Madison And she was granted immunity to testify during the 2002 Republican caucus investigations, concerning campaign finance violations by Republican legislators and their staff. She had made a "human error" in recording vote totals, and that the real total is 7,500 more for Justice David Prosser than reported on election night. Nickolaus has insisted on keeping election data on her personal computer, under her personal control. Nickolaus has insisted on keeping elections data on a personal computer in her office--to which she alone has access--and rebuffed demands by auditors that she upgrade to a safer and more tamper-proof system. "Nickolaus said she decided to take the election data collection and storage system off the county's computer network - and keep it on stand-alone personal computers accessible only in her office - for security reasons. Plus how long did it take to get those votes. Anyway's, there's a lot of other reasons to question this woman's integrity regardless if your a Dem or Repub, but then again I have to remind myself that you Hoffa are the type that would prefer to close your eyes to the obvious! . .....LIKE I SAID earlier FOUL PLAY............Good night!
Keith Ashley June 09, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Anyone familiar with the voters in this district ? This election had about 1300 undervotes or write-ins presumably people voting for Walker and not voting for anyone for state senate given the numbers. On top of this at least 1,000 people voted for Walker and split their ballot voting for Lehman as well. Is there some local aspect to this election that would cause so many to split their votes ? Win or Lose I hope there is an investigation to track down everyone that used fake local addresses to register and vote. Clearly, Racine was the back-up plan for the dems/unions. There was no way the unions were going to go away empty handed after spending tens of millions on this recall.
James R Hoffa June 09, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Walker received 36,505 votes in the District. Wanggaard received 35,476 votes. For a discrepancy of: 1,029 votes. Barrett received 36,572 votes in the District. Lehman received 36,255 votes. For a discrepancy of: 317 votes. There were 1,218 scattering and undervotes recorded in the senate race. Conservative leaning precincts recorded nearly 2.8 times the number of undervotes in comparison to liberal leaning precincts. That translates to roughly 783 scattering and undervotes as supporting Walker, and 435 having supported Barrett. Wanggaard's loss of support from Walker voters is over 3 times the amount of support that Lehman lost from Barrett supporters. If we eliminate Wanggaard's share of the scattering/undervotes from his discrepancy, that still leaves us with 246 cross-ticket votes - people that voted for both Walker and Lehman. While Barrett supporters strictly voted for Lehman. Conclusion: Either something is off here, or lazy/traitorous conservatives cost Wanggaard the election.
James R Hoffa June 09, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Ummm... yeah, the recount showed that actual physical ballots existed and supported the canvassed results reported by Kathy Nickolaus. And those ballots came from a precinct nearly 28 miles away from Nickolaus's central county clerk's office where she was present all election night. And the results from that precinct were posted on the precinct's web-site, as well as having been independently reported on by Patch, thus confirming their existence and absence from the initial county wide totals reported by Nickolous on election night. Not to mention that the state investigation led by special counsel found that there was no election fraud committed and that the error solely lied in omission of the vote tally's from that precinct in Nickolaus's initially reported county-wide tabulation. Votes were not found and/or produced out of thin air, as you make it sound like happened in your assessment of the situation. Sorry, but the hard objective facts just don't support your loosely pieced together conspiracy theory.

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