This Week in History: County conducts recount

By Patrick Lynn

Portage Co. kicked off its first recount of a presidential election on Dec. 1, 2016.

The recount was conducted by 16 volunteers, mostly current and former municipal clerks and poll workers, who recounted the county’s 38,718 ballots by hand in a public forum over a period of five days.

Candidate Hillary Clinton gained eight votes during the county. President Donald Trump lost one vote.

Following the recount, Clinton carried Portage Co. by a tally of 18,529 to 17,305, although Trump took Wisconsin by a vote of 1,405,284 to 1,382,536.

According to County Clerk Shirley Simonis, the recount cost Portage Co. about $90,000.

Simonis said the county was reimbursed those costs by the Green Party, whose candidate Jill Stein requested the action after questioning the possibility of hacking.

Stein garnered 583 votes in Portage Co. and 31,072 throughout Wisconsin.