Stein files for Wis. recount; what happens now?

The Green Party’s Jill Stein has officially requested a recount in Wisconsin, where Donald Trump currently holds a lead of 27,257 votes over Hillary Clinton.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission announced that it received Stein’s petition Friday.

“The Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States,” Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas said in a statement. The state will be working to complete the recount by the federal deadline of Dec. 13.

What happens next?

The recount is expected to begin late next week, after the Stein campaign pays the recount fee, which is still be calculated.

Early estimates suggest the cost of the recount could reach the $1 million range, and Stein’s campaign will have to pay for it under Wisconsin’s rules. If the margin had been under 0.5 percent, the state would pay for the recount, but the current margin of 27,257 is just under one percent -- the tally currently stands at 1,409,467 for Mr. Trump and 1,382,210 for Clinton. Money won’t be a problem -- Stein has so far raised over $5 million for recount efforts in three states including Wisconsin, and she has now specifically set aside $2.5 million for that effort.

Haas noted in the commission’s statement that the last statewide recount was in 2011 after the Supreme Court election, and that cost over half a million dollars. That election had about 1.5 million votes, roughly half as many as the 2016 presidential election in Wisconsin.

Over 100 reporting units from across the state have been randomly selected for audits of their voting equipment -- this has already begun. All ballots will be examined to determine voter intent before being retabulated, the statement said. And the canvassers will also examine poll lists, absentee ballots and provisional ballots as part of the recount.

Should the candidates disagree with the result of the recount, they are able to appeal in circuit court within five days of the completion of the recount.  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have yet to weigh in on the effort.

Stein is seeking recounts in three states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Michigan has not yet been called, and it’s the closest of the three states. If the three states were to move into Clinton’s column, she would win, with 278 electoral votes, but this seems very unlikely. It’s rare that recounts change the result of a race. 

Wisconsin, worth 10 electoral votes, has never held a presidential recount, but the effort isn’t without precedent. In 2004, the Green Party did succeed in obtaining a recount in Ohio in the presidential race. The New York Times noted at the time that the statewide recount of Ohio’s 88 counties resulted in a net difference of 285 votes, meaning that George W. Bush beat John Kerry in Ohio by 118,457 votes, instead of 118,775. The recount concluded on Dec. 28, 2004, nearly two months after the election took place.

CBS News’ Steve Chaggaris contributed to this report.

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