With the final votes being tallied in contested areas yesterday, many races in the state Assembly have been determined by only a few hundred votes or less, causing many to ask for a recount.
The closest of these races was for the 47th district, where Republican Keith Ripp beat Democrat Trish O’Neil by only 28 votes.
That wasn’t the only race to come down to the wire. Democrats may also contest two other races in which Republican incumbents edged out wins against their Democratic opponents.
In the 34th district, Rep. Dan Meyer, R-Eagle River, beat Democrat Paul Tubbs by 164 votes. Rep. Mary Williams, R-Medford, also beat her Democratic opponent Judy Reas by only 227 votes in the 87th district.
Democrats aren’t the only ones looking for a recount. In the 68th district, Democrat Kristen Dexter beat incumbent Rep. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, by 275 votes. In the 67th district, Independent Jeff Wood beat Republican Don Moga by 175 votes.
However, before a recount can be called, the counties must finish their canvassing and send in their official results to the Government Accountability Board.
“We’re waiting until canvassing is done in those counties to see if there is any swing with the canvassing. You can expect us to announce recounts beginning of next week,” said Kirsten Kukowski, communications director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
Kukowski added that, as a rule of thumb, a party will not call a recount unless the margin of loss is less than 300 votes. History has shown that recounts do not often result in a different winner, though in close races like the one between Ripp and O’Neil, a flip is entirely possible.
“We see [recounts] happen fairly frequently. … There is sometimes some variation but not enough to affect the outcome,” said Diane Lowe, lead election specialist at the GAB. “It has happened, though.”
Those asking for a recount must file a petition with the GAB before 5 p.m. on the third day after all counties have returned their vote tallies to the board, according to Lowe. The board is expected to receive the first county results today.
Alec Loftus, communications director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, was unavailable for comment as of press time.
This article was published Nov 7, 2008 at 1:32 am, and last updated Nov 7, 2008 at 1:32 am.