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By "partial," I mean that some places across the state will have hand recounts. The GAB and the two candidates agreed to hand count those areas that used Optech Eagle machine vote tabulators.


The Government Accountability Board, represented by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, filed a legal action in Dane County Circuit Court Thursday to establish the ground rules for Optech Eagle tabulating equipment used in the statewide recount of votes in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.  Attorneys for the G.A.B. and the candidates reached a stipulated agreement to hand-count ballots in parts of 31 counties that use Optech Eagle scanners.

In the court case, they highlighted the fact that two state statutes were in conflict. The first stated that a hand recount is not allowed unless someone files suit and a court says a hand count is needed.

10. Under applicable law, recounts of votes cast on an electronic voting system must be conducted in the manner prescribed in Wis. Stat. § 9.01, and the boards of canvassers must recount the ballots cast on such systems with automated tabulating equipment. See Wis. Stat. § 5.90(1). If an electronic voting machine utilizes a detachable record of votes cast, the record must be re-tabulated under Wis. Stat. § 5.90, i.e., with automated tabulating equipment. See Wis. Stat. § 9.01(1)(b)6.

Another statute states that the memory cards used to tabulate the votes cannot be erased until after a recount has taken place.

11. Wis. Stat. 7.23(1) regulates the destruction of all materials and supplies associated with an election. Under this provision, detachable recording units for use with tabulating equipment for an electronic voting system may be cleared or erased 21 days after a non-primary election. See Wis. Stat. § 7.23(1)(g). If a recount is pending, however, or if the time for filing a recount petition has not expired, no materials may be destroyed until after the recount is completed and the applicable time period has expired. See Wis. Stat. § 7.23(2). In addition, if there is litigation pending with respect to a recount, materials may be destroyed and recording units may be cleared or erased only by order of the court in which the litigation is pending.

Since the manufacturer no longer makes these memory cards and the state does not have enough to complete a recount without erasing the original vote tabulation, one of the statutes must be violated.

The candidates and the GAB entered an agreement that allows for the hand count of those areas where the Optech Eagle machines were used. One of the nice things about this is that much of Waukesha County used these machines. Here is a list of the areas affected:

Thirty-one counties III Wisconsin, specifically Adams (partial-2 municipalities), Brown, Dane, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Grant (partial-l municipality), Green Lake (partial-9 municipalities), Jefferson, La Crosse, Lafayette (partial-l municipality), Langlade (partial-l municipality), Manitowoc (partial-2 municipalities), Marinette (partial-2 municipalities), Menominee, Milwaukee (partial-entire City of Milwaukee and 14 other municipalities), Monroe (partial-4 municipalities), Oconto (partial-16 municipalities), Oneida (partial-IO municipalities), Outagamie (partial-7 municipalities), Pierce (partial-12 municipalities), Portage (partial-4 municipalities), Racine, Rock (partial-IS municipalities), Rusk (partial-l municipality), Shawano (partial-3 municipalities), Sheboygan, Trempealeau (partial-3 municipalities), Vernon (partial-l municipality), Waukesha (partial-34 municipalities), Waupaca (partial-2 municipalities), and Wood (partial-2 municipalities)

This means that a hand count will occur in parts of Waukesha County and other parts of the state.

Updated by jsamuel at Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 05:21 PM CDT

Contact the Kloppenburg campaign at if you can help be a recount observer.

Originally posted to jsamuel on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 03:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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