Jul 28, 2014

Recount Final Total: Lehman Wins By 819 Votes

The recount of the 21st District state Senate recall election ended Monday, however, Wanggaard is considering a legal challenge.

Recount Final Total: Lehman Wins By 819 Votes

The recount in the 21st Senate District ended Monday, with Democrat John Lehman remaining the victor in the recall race against Republican Van Wanggaard.

The final vote total: Lehman 36,358; Wanggaard 35,539, a difference of 819 votes.

Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen certified the results shortly before noon Monday and immediately sent the results to the state Government Accountability Board.

"It shows that we won the election and all of these allegations of voter irregularities are false and are really much ado about nothing," Lehman said. "The results from election night have been proven correct through tape and tally totals."

by 834 votes, in the only successful Democratic challenge in any of the recall elections held that day. Wanggaard asked for a recount on June 15, and the process started on June 20.

However, Wanggaard pointed to a number of voter irregularities, which he now he calls fraud. 

“Anyone who argues that this recount was a waste of time, or that we do not need voter, ID, either wants to conceal these potential fraudulent activities or hasn’t been paying attention," Wanggaard said in statement. “The list of problems now includes missing pages in poll books, missing signatures, wrong voter numbers, wrong and unverified addresses and most shocking of all, unsealed and sealed and reopened ballot bags — all without explanation. None of these issues would have been discovered if not for the recount.”

Wanggaard's campaign has until July 10 to challenge the election results in court, according to the GAB. If he doesn't the state agency will certifiy the results, possibly on July 11.

Jonathan Strasburg, Wanggaard campaign attorney, confirmed that there has been no decision on whether or not the campaign will file any type of lawsuit regarding the issues in Racine with misplaced signatures and partially sealed ballot bags.

"We have five business days to make a decision," he said. "We want to let the dust settle on the last two weeks before we start talking about how to move forward."

Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen said the recount process was long, and she is less than pleased with the condition of some of the materials that came in from the City of Racine.

"I believe I've done a lot when it comes to training poll workers, but it's clear that municipal clerks need to be sure they're hiring competent help," she said. "The way and the reflects poorly on the election process."

Christensen's deputy, Roseanne Kuemmel, agreed.

"These were not minor clerical errors," she said. "I'm appalled that they're being classified in that manner because what happened in the city make people lose their confidence in our election process."

Scott Kelly, a member of Wanggaard's campaign staff, said that if the recount results stand, Wanggaard will spend the next two years campaigning for a 2014 run to retake his seat.

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