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Recounts start Wednesday

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Catherine W. Idzerda
April 26, 2011
— One, two, three … all the way up to 37,000.

The recount in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race between Justice David Prosser and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg will begin Wednesday.


Because Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler and her staff won’t be able to use electronic ballot machines, she wasn’t able to predict Monday how long the recount would take.


“You might as well throw a dart,” Stottler said.


The Government Accountably Board and the judge overseeing the recount decreed that all counties using Optech Eagle ballot machines must do a hand recount.


Stottler was disappointed by the decision.


“Any time I have an opportunity to show that they work, even if it’s to 20 or so poll workers, I like to do it,” Stottler said about the machines. “They do work.


The Optech Eagle that Rock County uses is no longer in production. A newer version uses a slightly different digital technology, she explained.


The hand count will slow things, but the presence of legal representatives from each campaign could have a more significant impact.


Each questionable ballot will be scrutinized a Republican and Democratic member of the board of canvass, as well as the county clerk and deputy county clerk.


However, each disputed ballot could become a bone of contention for legal representatives from each campaign.


County clerks have 13 days to complete the recount, and the Government Accountability Board strongly encouraged clerks to work on Saturday and Sunday.


Stottler agreed to Saturday but didn’t think her volunteers—or the community—would tolerate a recount on Sunday.


As for the cost, the clerk’s office has spent a “couple hundred” dollars on supplies. Each member of the board of canvass gets about $100 a day, and Stottler’s deputy clerk, an hourly employee, also will attend. The deputy clerk would receive overtime for Saturday’s work.



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