Gov. Scott Walker has made it harder to ask for an election recount in Wisconsin.
Walker last week signed into law a bill introduced in reaction to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's 2016 recount request in Wisconsin after she finished a distant fourth.
Under the new law, only candidates who trail the winner by 1 percentage point or less in statewide elections could seek a recount. If that had been in effect last year, Democrat Hillary Clinton could have requested a recount since she finished within that margin, losing the state by only 22,000 votes.
But Stein would have been barred.
Democrats argued against the change, saying if candidates want to pay for a recount they should be allowed to pursue it. Stein paid for the Wisconsin recount.
Since taking office in January 2011, Walker and the state’s Republican legislative leaders have made 33 changes to the Wisconsin’s voting laws.
The most controversial of them has been a strict voter identification law that significantly reduced turnout, particularly among blacks and other reliably Democratic voters, in 2016.
A study of registered voters in Dane and Milwaukee Counties who did not vote in the 2016 presidential election found that approximately 17,000-23,000 eligible voters in those counties were prevented or deterred from voting by Wisconsin’s voter ID law.
The study’s authors, however, were able to extrapolate that a total of about 45,000 voters in the state’s 72 counties were disenfranchised by the law.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court has heard arguments in a case that will determine the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s partisan system of drawing legislative district lines. In 2011, state Republicans drew those lines in a manner that guaranteed their majority in the Legislature for at least a decade.
For instance, Republicans have retained control of the Assembly despite elections in which Democratic candidates received 200,000 more votes than the GOP