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Statewide Recount Update #5: Recount Progress, Finalization Checklist and Reimbursement Request Form

Posted in
Priority: 
High Priority
Date: 
December 7, 2016
To: 
Wisconsin County Clerks
To: 
Milwaukee County Election Commission
From: 
Michael Haas, Interim Administrator
From: 
Richard Rydecki, Elections Specialist/Accessibility Coordinator
AttachmentSize
Recount Update #5 12-07-2016.pdf81.53 KB
Recount Reimbursement Instructions and Form.xlsx17.22 KB

This communication serves as an update on the status of the statewide recount for the President of the United States.  As the recount enters Day 7, many counties have already completed or are in the process of completing their recount and finalizing their results.  The Wisconsin Elections Commission has outlined procedures below for closing out your recount and submitting reimbursement requests.  Thank you again for all of your hard work, dedication and professionalism during this process.

Recount Progress: The recount is progressing with counties reporting significant progress over the first six days.  Please continue to provide the WEC with nightly updates on your progress.  Several counties have reported they have already completed their recount efforts with many others on pace to finish over the next few days.  If you have not completed at least 50% of your recount or if you have any concerns about your progress and ability to finish by 8 p.m. on Monday, December 12, please contact our office immediately so that we can discuss your county’s status and potential time-saving options with you.  Over the next few days WEC staff will be reaching out to counties who have not finished for an update on their schedule and to assist with navigating any obstacles to completion.

Checklist for Finalizing Recount Process:  As you complete your recount, there are several steps you should take to report your results to the WEC and finalize the process.  We have provided a checklist below that you should use to ensure all recount procedures are completed:

□     Input Recount Results into the Canvass Reporting System:  A new results set has been created for each county in the Canvass Reporting System labeled “President of the United States – Recount.”  The vote totals from your original canvass will be pre-populated in the form and you will only have to update numbers that have changed as a result of the recount.  
□     Verify and Submit Recount Results in the Canvass Reporting System: Please review all recount totals for accuracy before you verify and submit your final results.  It is recommended that you print the EL-106 Report from the system and use that as a tool to check your results for accuracy.  Please note there is intense public interest in the recount results and accurate results are paramount to ensuring public confidence in the process.  Errors and anomalies will be subject to scrutiny and could serve to undermine all of your hard work during the recount process.  After the results have been finalized, you must click the “Verify” button to submit your canvass results to the WEC.
□     Print and Sign the Canvass Certification:  After you submit your recount results, you must print the canvass certification and have your Board of Canvassers sign the document.  Please note that the signing of the certification should be done during a public meeting and should be noticed according to applicable public records law.  
□     Send the Canvass Certification to the WEC:  After the canvass certification is signed, you must send that document via email to elections.canvass@wi.gov or fax it to 608-267-0500 and transmit the original document by mail to the WEC. Your canvass is not considered complete until the WEC receives your faxed or emailed certification documents.  We must receive your certification by electronic means or by mail by 8 p.m. on Monday, December 12 in order to certify the recount results the following day to ensure that Congress honors Wisconsin’s electoral votes based upon the election results.
□     Finalize and Send Recount Minutes to the WEC:  Each county is required to keep detailed minutes of the recount process.  After your recount is completed your minutes will need to be finalized and transmitted to the WEC by email to recounts@wi.gov as soon as practicable.  A template for your minutes is provided in the recount manual that can be modified for use by each county.  The WEC will not be able to process your reimbursement request until recount minutes are received.
□     Secure and Store Recount Materials:  After the recount is completed both counties and municipalities should secure and store all election and recount-related materials.  If election materials have been returned to municipalities for storage, they should be stored in a secure location but remain accessible in the event they are need for litigation purposes.  All recount records are considered election materials and should be retained in accordance with the 22 month retention period for federal elections.  
□     Submit Reimbursement Request to the WEC:  Reimbursements requests for actual reasonable costs should be submitted to the WEC for processing once your recount is completed.  Due to the statutory deadline to return any excess funds to the Stein campaign, all reimbursement requests must be submitted to the WEC by each county by December 30, 2016.  A reimbursement form containing detailed instructions has been provided as a resource to counties along with this message.  All reimbursement requests should be transmitted to the WEC via email at recounts@wi.gov.  You are not required to use this form, but it is recommended that it serve as a guideline for creating an itemized list of all cost incurred during the recount process.  Failure to submit an itemized reimbursement request may result in a delay in processing your request and WEC staff may contact you with questions about costs included in your request.

The reimbursement form and instructions include guidelines based upon State requirements.  If a county’s submitted costs exceed those permitted under State guidelines, the WEC will consider approval of those costs if they are customarily allowed by the county, or if the County Clerk affirms that they were necessary to complete the recount by December 12, 2016.