Final recount estimates from 70 of the state’s 72 counties total $400,525, county officials said.
Figures for Pierce and Adams counties were unavailable. County clerks there could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
“I didn’t really know what to expect. It came on so fast,” said Bayfield County Clerk Scott Fibert, whose staff completed the recount in less than two days at a final cost of about $1,750. “We did it in a day and a half, so I guess it’s about as reasonable as we could have got. Anything more, and I probably would have had budget issues, and I’m sure a lot of people are going to have budget.”
Eight of those 70 counties said recount costs were higher than expected. Clerks in most of those counties said the extra money went to reprogramming databases or renting additional memory packs for vote tabulating machines.
Final cost estimates varied widely, because clerks tabulated their expenses in different ways.
For example, county clerk staff assisted with recount duties in virtually every county. But those employees would have been paid on those days anyway, leaving clerks confused as to whether those costs should be tabulated in final estimates.
“I could have calculated it in a lot of different ways,” said Walworth County Clerk Kimberly Bushey. “Because the people were here already and they would have been paid already, is that a cost of the recount or not? And I don’t know how to answer that.”
Including staff time, Bushey said, Walworth County recount costs totaled roughly $8,700. Excluding those expenses, the county’s final tally is about $2,800.
A total of 1,500,113 votes were counted during the three-week recount process, according to GAB data
. Statewide, Kloppenburg gained a total of 693 votes, while Prosser gained an additional 371.