• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Wisconsin Election Commission: Unofficial Results Statement, Vote Verification

ByChad J. Johnson

Nov 9, 2022

MADISON, Wis. – Following Tuesday’s general election, the Wisconsin Elections Commission is pleased to confirm that all 72 counties in Wisconsin have reported 100% of the unofficial results.

“We are proud of the hard work that our dedicated local election officials undertook to deliver an election without major issues,” said WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe. “We have confirmed that all unofficial results have been reported by Wisconsin counties, which means local election officials are ready to begin the next step in the process of verifying vote totals.”

It is normal for election results to change slightly as election officials conduct polls to ensure the vote totals are accurate and complete the certification process.

The WEC does not centrally compile unofficial results. However, unofficial election results are available on county websites, and a list with links to these county election websites is available here: https://elections.wi.gov/wisconsin-county-election-websites

The WEC also does not produce an official turnout estimate in the days immediately following the election. However, we plan to produce an unofficial turnout estimate in the coming days by taking the total votes cast in the highest statewide contest, as compiled by The Associated Press, and dividing this total by the state’s estimated 2022 voting age population of 4,676,183 as estimated by the Department of Administration’s Center for Population Services: https://doa.wi.gov/DIR/Final_Ests_Co_2022 .pdf

“While the unofficial election results are complete, the process of triple-checking vote totals has just begun,” Wolfe said. “The results will not be official until each county has completed its investigation and the WEC Chairman has certified the results. For state and federal contests, nothing is final until then.

The purpose of canvassing is to count every ballot cast and ensure that every valid vote is included in the official results. Wisconsin law requires each county council of canvassers to meet for general election canvassing no later than 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 15.

Counties have until Tuesday, Nov. 22 to submit their county solicitation statement for the general election to the WEC for state and federal offices.

WEC President Don Millis has until Dec. 1 to certify the state and federal results.

Recount

Recounts may also take place. Recounts for the state level and national offices on the general election ballot would be filed with the Elections Commission. If the county poll vote totals completed for these two-candidate contests are 1% or less apart, the candidate next to the leading candidate has the right to request a recount. Wisconsin does not have an automatic recount, although the unofficial results are close. There is no charge to the applicant applicant if the difference between the leading applicant and the applicant is 0.25% or less. If the difference is greater than 0.25%, the WEC will estimate the cost, which must be paid before the start of the recount. More information on recounts is available here: https://elections.wi.gov/elections/recounts

A trailing candidate may request a recount only after county canvassing is completed and no later than 5 p.m. on the third business day following the last day of the meeting of the last county canvassing board that completed canvassing. That would be no later than 5 p.m. on November 28.

Post-election audit

Wisconsin statutes require a post-election audit of voting systems used in Wisconsin after each general election. The audit, designed to assess the accuracy and performance of each voting system approved for use in the state, is a public meeting and proper notice must be provided at least 48 hours in advance. A representative sample of reporting units that use each type of voting equipment is included in the selection process. The parameters for each audit are established by the Electoral Commission.

During this process, election workers conduct independent manual counting of ballots and tabulation of contest results. The final total of the manual tally is compared to the results of the election night voting system. Audit documents are submitted to WEC for review. Any discrepancies are reviewed by WEC staff. Commission staff may request a supplier to investigate and provide explanations for any unexplained discrepancies. The WEC may, at its sole discretion, choose to retest any voting system if unexplainable issues arise during the audit.

For this election, the WEC will verify voting materials from a random 10% sample of reporting units statewide. WEC staff convened in a public meeting Wednesday to conduct the random selection, which includes 369 reporting units in 301 Wisconsin municipalities.