Update: Wanggaard Awaits Canvass Before Deciding On Recount
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (06/07/2012) - Political officials, buffs, the average Wisconsin voter, and special interest groups throughout the state and the nation are holding their collective breaths while awaiting the fate of the one State Senate win by Democrats in Recall Elections this week. Republican incumbent State Senator Van Wanggaard is weighing his options in the apparent defeat by Democrat John Lehman by a margin of 779 votes. He'll make his decision after the mandatory canvass of votes by election officials.
The board of canvassers has until June 15th to submit the canvassed totals. Once the canvass report is in, Van Wanggaard will have three business days to ask for a recount, or June 20th at the latest.
Interested politicians and the general public is awaiting the canvass results from Wisconsin Senate District 21, because whoever comes out of the process will determine who wins the seat. If Democrat Lehman is declared the final victor, that will mean Democrats will take over the majority in the State Senate.
If, by chance, in the aftermath of the ballot marking by residents, the vote totals are overturned by the mandatory canvass, or possible recount, processes, Republicans would retain control of the State Senate.
If Wanggaard does decide to demand a recount following the canvass, he will be required to pay the cost of the recount. Lehman's current lead is too great for Wanggaard to qualify for a taxpayer-funded recount, so the senator would need to pay the $685 cost, according to the Government Accountability Board.
Unofficial returns from Tuesday's election in Racine's 21st Senate District showed Democratic challenger John Lehman leading incumbent Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard by less than 800 votes with all precincts reporting.
"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", Senator Van Wanggaard said.
"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", Wanggaard explained.
"We will closely monitor the canvass of votes with legal representation. We will evaluate our options regarding recounts following the official count of ballots," Senator Wanggaard said.
Meanwhile, there have been allegations of improprieties in the passion following the announced results of the Recall Governor Scott Walker statewide election, including reports of threats against Governor Walker.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), in partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wisconsin Capitol Police, Milwaukee Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, is investigating several complaints regarding threats posted on social media sites following yesterday’s election.
Individuals with information relating to any threats should contact DCI at 608-266-1671. Contact information will be required from callers to allow investigators to follow up on their information.
Since this is an active investigation, no other information about the nature of the threats is available at this time.
"Any kind of threat to someone’s personal safety or the safety of one’s family is taken seriously and could lead to criminal charges. I encourage anyone with information to come forward," DCI Administrator Ed Wall said.
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