The final price tag on the recount of Wisconsin’s presidential vote was much lower than expected.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission says final costs submitted to the state by all 72 county clerks show just over $2 million was spent recounting the votes from the November election. The figure is about $1.5 million less than what the state initially estimated.
WEC spokesman Reid Magney attributed the price discrepancy to the limited information available to clerks, along with the short time frame in which they had to come up with an estimate for their costs, and noted the last statewide recount was the 2011 state Supreme Court race. “Clerks were recounting twice as many votes in a very short period of time, and they were also coming up with the estimates to do that in a very short period of time,” he said.
Magney said many of the overestimates came from some of the state’s larger counties. “Not knowing exactly what to expect – how many people they would have to hire, what kind of overtime they would paying – I think they just made what they would consider to be a safe estimate.”
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested the recount and paid the state $3.5 million before it was done. Her campaign will receive a refund for the difference, which Stein has said may be used to fund ongoing legal battles and election integrity efforts.