Election officials in one Wisconsin county finalized the results
of a recount in a close primary for the state Senate on Wednesday
even though more than 100 ballots remained missing.
State Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1oq7qp9
) the Green County board of canvassers certified the results of a
recount in the Democratic primary for the 17th Senate District in
attorney Pat Bomhack asked for the recount Friday after results
showed Ernie Wittwer, a former state Department of Transportation
budget director, ahead by just seven votes.
Bomhack picked up
28 votes in the recount in Monroe, where the ballots were lost.
It's not clear yet who won the primary because two counties in the
district have yet to finish their recounts.
Wittwer said he
was going to talk to an attorney before deciding whether to
challenge the Green County canvassing board.
shattered my confidence in the voting process," he said.
Monroe City Clerk
Carol Stamm told the canvassing board Monday that 110 ballots from
the city were missing. An investigation didn't provide solid
answers. Stamm told the board that a pollworker may have mixed
used ballots at a polling place in the basement of Monroe's city
hall with unused ballots that were destroyed after the election.
She said it's also possible that someone took the ballots right
after polls closed on election night.
Monroe police are
looking into whether a crime occurred.
ballots is one thing; somebody stealing the ballots is another.
That's a felony," Monroe Police Chief Fred Kelley said.
One of the three
members of the canvassing board voted against certifying the
results without accounting for the missing ballots. Barbara
Woodriff, who represents the Democratic Party in Green County,
suggested the board use the official tally as of Aug. 12 for the
city of Monroe and recount the remaining wards.
But Green County
Clerk Michael Doyle, who chairs the board, said it can only
consider the ballots it has now.
"We have to
certify with the ballots that we had at the time of the
recount," Doyle said. "We have an obligation to not
guess what happened to those 110 ballots."
Wittwer led in
Monroe on election night by 186 votes. Without the missing
ballots, his lead was reduced to 158 votes.
Juneau County and
Richland County have yet to finish their recounts.
The winner will
face Republican Rep. Howard Marklein for the seat held by retiring
Sen. Dale Schultz, a moderate who cast the lone GOP Senate vote
against Republican Gov. Scott Walker's union law.