Why the “We Hate Jill Stein” Bill Is Bad

April 13, 2017

Recount

Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate are pushing a bill to make it more difficult to do recounts in Wisconsin.

It should be called “The We Hate Jill Stein Bill” because it comes in response to the Green Party candidate’s forcing of a recount of the Presidential tally in Wisconsin last November. (Stein came in fourth, with only 1 percent of the vote.)

The bill states that in races where more than 4,000 votes are cast, it would allow only second-place finishers within 1 percent or less of the winner’s total to demand a recall. In races where fewer than 4,000 votes are cast, the candidate seeking a recount must be within 40 votes of the winner.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Opposes this bill, SB102, and its accompanying bill in the Assembly, AB153, for the following reasons:

1. Transparency is good for democracy. When a candidate calls for a recount, whether that candidate was close or not, we get to see whether the machinery of democracy is working properly or not.

2. In this day and age of computer hacking, now is not the time to make it harder to do a recount.

3. The bill favors the two-party system. In big races, second-place finishers are almost always from one of the two major parties, so this bill would discriminate against minor parties.

4. If both major parties are engaging in the same hanky-panky, or if the losing major party doesn’t want to look like a sore loser, there might not be a recall, even though there may have been serious improprieties that a distant third-party candidate or fourth-party candidate could draw our attention to.

5. It won’t cost taxpayers more. Already, right now, taxpayers don’t have to pay for recounts when the difference between the first- and second-place finisher is more than one quarter of one percent. This threshold remains the same in the new bill.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign urges citizens to contact their legislators to vote no on SB102/AB153.