Bill to limit candidates’ ability to request a recount passes Assembly

QUORUM CALL

A bill that would limit which losing candidates can request a recount in Wisconsin passed the Assembly on a voice vote amidst arguments over Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. 

Debate over the bill, from Rep. Ron Tusler, turned into fairly heated testimony about Stein, who under the bill would have been prevented from starting the recount she sought in the November election.

And Dems further criticized the GOP effort, saying state candidates, and candidate backers, have the right to know their elections were “free and fair.”

While Rep. Fred Kessler, D-Milwaukee, said he agreed it looked like Stein had “absolutely no reason” to request a recount, “she had the right to be at least be satisfied that there was an accurate count.”

But Rep. Kathleen Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, said Stein could have taken the case to circuit court, and if the judge had ruled in her favor, a statewide recount would have still been conducted.

Meanwhile, Tusler, R-Harrison, said Stein had demanded a recount that was “frivolous, that was emotionally charged, that was politically charged” and that wasn’t a fair use of clerks’ time across the state.

But Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca argued there wasn’t an issue with the current laws.

“If they pay 100 percent of the cost, it should be none of our business,” the Kenosha Dem said.

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