Recount likely in only closest of recall races - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Recount likely in only closest of recall races

MADISON (WKOW) -- A state official said the candidate who trails in Tuesday's voting in the governor's recall election would only qualify for a free recount of votes, if the margin between candidates is one half of one percent.

Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Executive Director Kevin Kennedy said if the margin between candidates is two percent or more, the candidate requesting a recount would be responsible for all costs.

In 2011 voting for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the margin between Justice David Prosser and challenger JoAnn Kloppenburg was within one half of one percent. Kloppenburg requested and received a recount funded by taxpayers. But the additional tally of votes failed to substantially change a roughly 7,000 vote margin for Prosser and he was declared the election's winner.

Kennedy said 2011's experience would help municipal clerks and others involved in any recount of the recall ballots for governor or lieutenant governor.

"But if we have a recount, it will probably be a much more closely examined recount process than we had in 2011."

When asked by a reporter at a Fitchburg factory whether the possibility of a recount is on his radar screen, Governor Walker was quick to answer: "No."

Kennedy said absentee ballots postmarked by Tuesday, even if they arrive at municipal clerk offices later in the week, will be tallied after Tuesday's vote tabulation is complete and added on.

Kennedy told 27 News if Barrett defeats Walker, Barrett could be sworn in as Wisconsin's next governor as soon as June 20.

If Walkers win, he will be recall-proof and can serve out his term to its end in January 2015.

Milwaukee County's district attorney continues a secret investigation that has already netted convictions or criminal charges against a Walker donor, former appointee, and several former aides from Walker's days as Milwaukee County executive. Walker has spent more than $150,000 on criminal defense attorneys, although he maintains he is not the target of the probe. According to the state legislative reference bureau, even if Walker was charged and convicted of a felony crime or a misdemeanor involving betraying the public trust, there is no automatic removal from office. 

Tuesday's two, statewide recall races pit Walker against Tom Barrett, and Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch against Democrat Mahlon Mitchell.

Tony Galli will have more details on Tuesday's historic recall election tonight on 27 News at 5 and 6.


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