By Kirsten Adshead | Wisconsin Reporter
Lehman’s lead now stands at 834 votes after the official canvassing of the votes Tuesday.
Wanggaard, however, has not conceded defeat, and he has three days to decide whether to request a recount.
“The Wanggaard campaign will be considering its options regarding a recount over the coming days, and will make an announcement on its plans by the end of the week,” Dan Romportl, director of the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, said in a statement. “CERS and the Wanggaard campaign have no further comment at this time.”
Lehman, the former Democratic senator who lost the Senate District 21 seat to Wanggaard in 2010, gained 55 votes from the election night tally, when the Racine County election officials canvassed the vote Tuesday.
The recall elections were held June 5, but election officials could not provide the official tally until provisional ballots were addressed and all absentee ballots were in. Absentee ballots had to be postmarked no later than election day, but were accepted through this past Friday.
If Lehman’s victory stands, it would be a crucial win for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, giving the party a 17-16 majority in the state Senate.
Still, the impact may be limited.
Lawmakers are not scheduled to return to session until after the November general election, when either party could take control of the Senate and the state Assembly. Half the state Senate seats and all of the state Assembly seats are up for election.
The Wanggaard-Lehman contest is one of six recalls Democrats pursued, but the GOP easily won the other races, including the recall of Gov. Scott Walker.
State law allows either candidate to request a recount, but the candidate has to help pay for the cost of the recount if the margin of victory is less than one half of 1 percent of the total votes.
Lehman’s margin of victory is twice that, so Wanggaard would have to pay some of the cost of the recount, $5 per ward, according to the Associated Press.
Lehman did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.
But his campaign cheered the canvassing results, via Twitter, saying, “Official County Canvass shows we won by 834 votes! Thank you to all our hard working clerks and election workers throughout Racine County.”