Recount Manual



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Recount Manual Final (8-2018).pdf 558.06 KB


Procedures to request and conduct a recount for an election or referendum


Elections are often decided by a few votes. In many cases they are decided by one or two votes out of the several hundred or even several thousand votes that are cast. An election may even end in a tie vote. These circumstances encourage a candidate, typically the one who loses the election, to have all the ballots counted again to assure all legal votes are counted properly, any illegal votes are not counted, and the proper procedures for conducting the election were followed by the election officials.

The process of counting the ballots again is known as a recount. There is no automatic recount.  The procedures for requesting and conducting a recount are spelled out in the election laws. A recount is the exclusive remedy to test in court the right of a candidate to hold office based on the number of votes cast at an election.

This manual explains the statutory requirements for requesting a recount, attempts to explain ambiguity in those statutes, expands on the statutory requirements with recommended procedures for conducting a recount, and contains sample forms for use during the recount.

This information is prepared by the Wisconsin Elections Commission pursuant to the requirements of Wis. Stat. §9.01(10). If you have any questions about the recount process, please contact the Commission staff through any of the methods below:

Phone: 608-261-2028
Toll Free: 866-VOTE-WIS
Fax: 608-267-0500
Email: [email protected]