MADISON, Wis. - Vote counters, observers, reporters and curious onlookers are filling the hallway outside two large conference rooms in a downtown office building in Madison, Wisconsin, where a recount of the presidential race is about to begin.
Similar scenes are playing out across the state Thursday as the recount requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets underway. All 72 counties were required to start by 9 a.m. They have less than two weeks to recount nearly 3 million ballots. The deadline to complete it is Dec. 13, but the state Elections Commission gave counties until 8 p.m. Dec. 12 to finish.
Stein has raised questions about the integrity of votes cast in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan without presenting any proof of wrongdoing.
Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell walked down the hallway in Madison about an hour before the recount was to begin, bringing coffee for those about to begin the recount.
Stein has also requested recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Almost no one expects the recounts to result in a victory for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton over President-elect Donald Trump.
Trump's Wisconsin campaign director Pete Meachum was in Madison on Thursday for the start of the recount. Meachum said the campaign had people in every major county across the state. Trump won Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes, or less than a percentage point.
Stein said in a statement that "verifying the vote through this recount is the only way to confirm that every vote has been counted securely and accurately and is not compromised by machine or human error, or by tampering or hacking."
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