Wisconsin election officials held their last meeting Wednesday with county clerks before launching a presidential recount.
The recount is set to start Thursday. The Wisconsin Election Commission met with the clerks via teleconference and an online seminar Wednesday morning. The agenda calls for discussing counting procedures, how to treat absentee ballots, how to review provisional ballots and how to track expenses.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested the recount, alleging without evidence that the state's electronic voting machines may have been hacked. The commission had to grant that request under state law. Stein also wanted all 72 counties to conduct the recount by hand, but the commission refused to order that and a Dane County judge affirmed that decision late Tuesday evening.
Stein will not be appealing a Wisconsin judge's ruling that a recount there can be done without hand counting every ballot.
Stein spokeswoman Margy Levinson said in an email Wednesday that the ruling made Tuesday night in Dane County Circuit Court would not be appealed. Levinson said given the time constraints, they want to focus resources on the recount that begins Thursday.
The majority of Wisconsin counties planned to do a hand recount of ballots cast even though the judge's ruling means they can choose to feed the ballots into tabulation machines to double check the counts.
Levinson said Stein's focus will be on verifying the vote on the ground and she encourages counties to voluntarily conduct a hand recount.
Wisconsin's elections chief is telling local clerks that he knows they're frustrated with trying to complete a presidential recount in less than two weeks.
Commission Administrator Mike Haas held a teleconference with clerks Wednesday to walk them through final preparations.
Twice Haas acknowledged they're unhappy with conducting a recount during the holiday season on behalf of a candidate who got only 30,000 votes in Wisconsin. But he told them he hopes they've accepted that the recount must be conducted, by law, and that it will be done professionally.