The Wisconsin Elections Commission has received a bank wire transfer of $3,499,689 from the campaign of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein to prepay the estimated cost of conducting a statewide recount. With payment received, the Commission is issuing an order for the recount to begin on Thursday.
The campaign of Roque De La Fuente withdrew its recount petition on Tuesday, and will not be participating financially in the cost of the recount.
On Monday, the Elections Commission released an estimate of nearly $3.5 million. There was an error in adding up estimated recount cost figures from the 72 Wisconsin county clerks, and the actual total is $3,898,340.
At this time, the Commission will not be requiring the Stein campaign to pay the additional amount. When counties report their actual costs, the Commission will either bill the Stein campaign for any costs over the $3.5 million or refund the campaign any unused funds.
The Commission’s role in a recount is to order the recount, to provide legal guidance to the counties during the recount, and to certify the results. If the candidates disagree with the results of the recount, the law gives them the right to appeal in circuit court within five business days after the recount is completed. The circuit court is where issues are resolved that may be discovered during the recount but are not resolved to the satisfaction of the candidates.
Stein’s campaign began raising money last week to support recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. So far, they report raising more than $6.4 million, but say another $2.4 million may be needed.
Stein and De La Fuente both requested recounts, citing concerns about possible tampering with electronic voting machines in the state. Elections Commission officials have said they strongly doubt that could have happened.