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Lafayette County prepared, Green County still waiting
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MONROE - Two local counties have begun preparations for the recount called by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in Wisconsin.

Green County Clerk Mike Doyle said he still is not sure what next steps will be and is awaiting further details from the Wisconsin Election Commission on Wednesday, even though WEC released a communication requesting numbers by noon Monday.

"We haven't done anything yet," Doyle said Monday afternoon. "We will go on when they give me instruction."

While Stein has requested the Badger state recount be conducted by hand, the Wisconsin Election Commission cited state statute in correspondence that provides the choice for county canvass board members to decide if they would like to use machine tabulation or conduct the recount by hand, unless instructed otherwise by a court order.

Doyle said counting the county's 19,115 ballots by hand would take longer than the deadline of Dec. 13. He also did not think individuals counting ballots would be the best method.

"A hand count won't be as accurate as the machine count," Doyle said, adding that the reason machines are used is to prevent the more probable human error.

There still may be a conflict between the Elections Commission and Stein's campaign for a recount by hand. While federal law dictates that any presidential election dispute be settled within 35 days of the actual election day, the Stein campaign has filed a case in Dane County seeking a court order to direct all recounts be done by hand rather than through machines.

Lafayette County is planning to perform the recount by hand count of paper ballots. Lafayette County Clerk Linda Bawden notified WEC on Monday morning that the recount will cost her county about $2,600. Although Bawden noted she would need to gather five to seven people in addition to herself and the county's deputy clerk, she does not envy larger Wisconsin counties with many more than Lafayette's 7,000 ballots to be recounted.

"With a recount, it's a lot of work. It just is," Bawden said. "I feel really bad for the big counties."

Darlington is the only city that uses optical scanned ballots, but Bawden said workers will be recounting those by hand as well as the paper ballots and touch screen ballots from throughout Lafayette County.

Recounts in all Wisconsin counties would begin on Thursday. By federal law, numbers would have to be totally completed by Dec. 13.