Bench Memos

Wisconsin Recount Unnecessary

JoAnne Kloppenburg has requested a recount in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial board pretty much sums it up:

JoAnne Kloppenburg certainly had the right to ask for a statewide recount on Wednesday.

But we had hoped that she wouldn’t – and the state would be better off if she hadn’t.

We understand the motivation. The final county-by-county canvassing of the state Supreme Court election revealed that Justice David Prosser won a narrow victory, a reflection of how polarizing the new governor and his policies have become. The heat generated by the controversy over those policies most likely spurred the significant turnout for a spring nonpartisan election and a 7,316-vote win for Prosser – less than 0.5% of the 1.5 million votes cast

That’s slim, but it’s not likely that a statewide recount will change the outcome. Were it a margin in the hundreds of votes, perhaps, but Kloppenburg has to recognize that it’s not.

. . . Earlier, the GAB said a statewide recount in the Supreme Court race might cost as much as $1 million. Given that the state is already scrambling in its current budget to make ends meet and that the next budget won’t be any prettier, this is an expense the state can ill afford.

As this graphic published by Politico demonstrates, her chances of overcoming the 7,300 vote margin are non-existent. This is a transparent effort to delegitimize the results of the election at voter expense and appease the unions who saw this race as their best chance at reversing and blocking Walker’s agenda.

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