Supporters of Republican President-elect Donald Trump have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping Wisconsin’s recount.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Madison asks for an end to the recount because the short time window for it to be completed runs the risk of invalidating Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes and violating the equal protection clause of the Constitution. It was brought by a Trump voter, Ronald R. Johnson, and two pro-Trump Political Action Committees, the Great America PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC.
The recount began Thursday and clerks have until December 12 to complete the process, so the state can then certify the results by a December 13 federal deadline. Failing to meet that deadline could put the state outside of a federal Safer Harbor protection, which guarantees Wisconsin’s electoral votes will be honored.
The lawsuit contends that the tight timeline provides no “reasonable assurance” that it can be done accurately and carefully. Attorneys argue the court should stop the process “to prevent careless mistakes from tainting the results of the election, or incomplete or partial results to cast a pall over President-elect Donald Trump’s victory.”
The recount was requested and is being paid for by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. In a statement, campaign attorney Matthew Brinckerhoff said they would intervene in an effort to protect the process. “Citizens in Wisconsin and across the country have made it clear that they want a recount and deserve to see this process through to ensure integrity in the vote,” he said.
A hearing for the lawsuit has not yet been set. For now, the Wisconsin Elections Commission is telling clerks to continue with their recounts, until a judge orders otherwise.