Kevin Kennedy Outlines Recount Procedure

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Kevin Kennedy Outlines Recount Procedure

Premiere Date: 
August 15, 2014

The GAB director says Wisconsin could see the first congressional recount since mid-1990s.

 

Episode Transcript: 

Frederica Freyberg:

Now, this was the first time we've covered the Democrat in the 6th Congressional race. You can view a report we aired on the Republicans in the race by going to the wisconsinvote.org website.

Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Board met late this week for recount planning, because in addition to the 11 counties in the 6th Congressional District, there are potentially 13 other counties in districts like the 17th Senate where two Democrats were just two votes apart after Tuesday's election. We caught up with the GAB's Kevin Kennedy and started by asking if recounts are unusual.

Kevin Kennedy:

Well, recounts themselves aren't unusual, but to have one in a congressional district is rare. We haven't had one of those since the mid-'90s.

Frederica Freyberg:

What's the process as of Friday going forward?

Kevin Kennedy:

Well, Friday is when all the absentee ballots that were postmarked by election day, if they’re received, the clerk will count them. We have, for example, in the 6th Congressional District we've got almost 1,000 absentee ballots outstanding. Many of those won't come back because the person may have moved and not eligible to vote or--

Frederica Freyberg:

And so then what happens after those absentee ballots come in and those are counted?

Kevin Kennedy:

The municipal clerks will transmit to the results to the county clerk and the county clerk will convene the board of canvassers no later than 9:00 on Tuesday of next week, and they will put together the official results for the state and federal level offices.

Frederica Freyberg:

And then at that point is when a candidate could say, well, this is close enough that I ask for a recount?

Kevin Kennedy:

Well, these would be the official results and so this will be where they have the best information, and they can make the request as soon as the last county board of canvassers has met.

Frederica Freyberg:

And what are the provisions for a recount, you know, when it's paid for, when it's not?

Kevin Kennedy:

Well, the difference in the vote has to be less than one-half of 1% for them to no t have to pay a fee. If it's more than one-half of 1% but it’s under 2%, and we don’t see many recounts over 2%, they pay a $5 fee for each ward that's subject to the recount.

Frederica Freyberg:

And then once you get to the point where someone requests a recount, what happens then?  

Kevin Kennedy:

Well, a lot of planning is going on now, as you know, and the GAB will review the petition to make sure that they've asked the recount, that they've paid any fee that's required, and we will order the county clerks to convene on a specific date to start the recount. As part of our planning process, we will be in touch with them in advance. Usually we have a webinar or a teleconference call. We invite the candidates to listen in as we walk through some of the logistics of what needs to get done. But assuming that the recount deadline most likely be Friday of next week to ask for the recount, so the recount would start at the beginning of the next week.

Frederica Freyberg:

Given the numbers of counties out there that might be potential recounts, how long might that take then?

Kevin Kennedy:

Well, recounts go simultaneously, so, for example, in the 6th Congressional District there's 11 counties. All but three of them are full counties, meaning the entire county will get recounted, and it could take two, three, four days in some of those counties to get the work done.

Frederica Freyberg:

How cumbersome is that for the clerks in those counties?

Kevin Kennedy:

It's a lot of work, because they are taking all the material that was at the polling place and making sure they have it organized so it can be reviewed by the boards of canvassers. And the boards of canvassers will evaluate that. They make have to make some decisions.

Frederica Freyberg:

Okay. And so we could be looking, if someone asks for a recount, couple of weeks until we get the real deal final numbers?

Kevin Kennedy:

It does need to get done within 13 days after we order it, so ideally we will have it finished the week of Labor Day. 


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