Waiting On The Wisconsin Recount

What is the opposite of a gift that just keeps giving? The 2016 election was madness by any standards, but it seems like we are in for at least another few weeks of uncertainty. Green Party candidate Jill Stein successfully filed for a recount in Wisconsin last week. That means that we are in for at least another few weeks of election news.

Last week, New York published a piece on a group of computer scientists and election lawyers' push for the Clinton campaign to look into voting in three states — Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — whose voting patterns they deemed "suspicious. This in turn spurred new momentum for an election recount. The Clinton campaign has not led the charge, citing a lack of "actionable evidence." However after Stein was able to raise $6 million, the Clinton campaign announced on Saturday that it agreed to take part in the recount effort in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin election officials confirmed that a recount would take place after Stein filed for a recount before last Friday's deadline; she was joined in this by Reform Party candidate Roque de la Fuente. The Wisconsin recount will begin on Thursday, and according to federal law, the new tally must be completed by Dec.13. Theoretically, then, Wisconsin's recount will be done by that date.

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However, as with many events this election cycle, the recount already looks to be more complicated than it first seemed. The Wisconsin Election Commission approved a recount pace that CNN's Laura Jarrett and Tom LoBianco described as "breakneck." Furthermore, on Monday, Stein sued the Wisconsin Election Commission over its decision not to count the votes by hand. The resulting legal battle may prevent the recount from starting immediately or may complicate the process further.

Despite her efforts to push for recounts in key states, Stein herself does not seem motivated by the slim possibility that the ultimate election outcome would change. In a statement, Stein said:

After a presidential election tarnished by the use of outdated and unreliable machines and accusations of irregularities and hacks, people of all political persuasions are asking if our election results are reliable. We must recount the votes so we can build trust in our election system.

Donald Trump, predictably, was strongly opposed to the recount, calling Stein's efforts "ridiculous" and a "scam." But whether Trump likes it or not, the recount is set to begin this week and will likely stretch into December. However, the promise of legal battles over how the votes will be counted indicates that the actual completion date of the Wisconsin recount may be far from certain.