The Wisconsin Gubernatorial recall election could very well mimic results seen two years ago when Republican Scott Walker won the governor’s office. According to the Associated Press, Governor Walker defeated Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by five points and sources are telling the Drudge Report that the rematch today between the two men could produce similar results. A recount would be triggered if one of the two leads by one half of a percentage point of less.
Mike Tate, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, told Politico’s Robin Bravender that the Democrats will have more than 440 lawyers in Wisconsin “doing election protection activities but also tasked with recount preparation, making sure that we know where absentee ballots are at, making sure that we have a strong handle on what’s happening out there.”
The absentee ballot issue is concerning considering how absentee ballots have been handled and mishandled in the past.
In 2009, Senator Norm Coleman, Minnesota Republican, eventually conceded to Al Franken following a lengthy eight month recount. Mr. Coleman was ahead of Mr. Franken by 725 votes after election night in November of 2008. However, absentee ballots in favor of Franken began surfacing soon thereafter and shrunk Coleman’s lead until a recount was triggered. The Wall Street Journal reported: (bolding is mine)
The vanishing Coleman vote came during a week in which election officials are obliged to double-check their initial results. Minnesota is required to do these audits, and it isn’t unusual for officials to report that they transposed a number here or there. In a normal audit, these mistakes could be expected to cut both ways. Instead, nearly every “fix” has gone for Mr. Franken, in some cases under strange circumstances.
For example, there was Friday night’s announcement by Minneapolis’s director of elections that she’d forgotten to count 32 absentee ballots in her car. The Coleman campaign scrambled to get a county judge to halt the counting of these absentees, since it was impossible to prove their integrity 72 hours after the polls closed. The judge refused on grounds that she lacked jurisdiction.
Up in Two Harbors, another liberal outpost, Mr. Franken picked up an additional 246 votes.
In Partridge Township, he racked up another 100. Election officials in both places claim they initially miscommunicated the numbers. Odd, because in the Two Harbors precinct, none of the other contests recorded any changes in their vote totals.
In a previous Water Cooler post, Wisconsin’s Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen laments how it is too easy to potentially commit voter fraud in his state.