Another recount of Wisconsin’s primary election started Friday in the 84th district Assembly race, bringing the total number of recounts up to three.
The recount between Republican candidates John Marek and Mike Kuglitsch will be completed no later than Monday, according to Government Accountability Board Spokesperson Reid Magney.
Marek called for the recount Thursday after finishing 173 votes behind Kuglitsch in the Sept. 14 primary out of 8,819 total votes cast.
It is not clear if this recount will have any effect on the outcome of the primary.
“Usually the recounts don’t change the outcome of an election unless the election was within a handful of votes,” said Mike McCabe, executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
The 84th district covers New Berlin, Hales Corners and Waukesha. However, according to the county clerk’s office, Marek withdrew his request for a recount in Hales Corner on Friday.
Marek refused to comment on his decision to request the recount.
The recount decides which candidate runs for the seat currently held by Rep. Mark Gundrum, R-New Berlin, who chose not to seek re-election in order to become a Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge.
The winner will face Democratic candidate Don Vanpool in the general election.
Primary recounts were also called in the 32nd district, which includes parts of Kenosha and Walworth counties, and the 45th district, which includes parts of Rock and Walworth counties.
Although three primary recounts is not unusual, it is still high, McCabe said.
“You don’t usually see a lot of recounts and you don’t usually see a lot in primaries because there often aren’t many contested primaries,” McCabe said.
However, this year’s race was more competitive than past years because of rising political activism, especially amongst Republicans, said Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in the Wisconsin.
While the recount results in the 84th District remain uncertain, they still play an important role in insuring accuracy in elections, Heck said.
“The reason why it’s important is voters need to have confidence that every vote was counted and in particular everyone wants to make sure their vote made a difference,” Heck said.
There has been concern the recounts will delay absentee ballots from being sent overseas.
A new law requires absentee ballots be sent to military members and citizens living overseas at least 45 days before the general election Nov. 2. In an agreement reached with the Department of Justice, however, Wisconsin is required to send absentee ballots by Oct. 1.
However, according to Magney, the time frame for sending out these ballots will not change unless the candidate chooses to continue to fight the results of the recount.
“If one of the candidates in the recount is unhappy with the result of the recount he or she has the ability to appeal that to the Circuit Court,” Magney said. “So if there was an appeal that would add a significant amount of time to things and so, in those cases, in that particular district, the ballots may not be ready as soon as we hope.”
Magney also said that he thinks this will be the last recount requested in this primary election.