2022 midterm elections: Wisconsin Secretary of State race still too close to call

The top vote-getters have a meagre 7,043 votes between them
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Posted at 1:37 PM, Nov 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 18:27:10-05

The race for Wisconsin Secretary of State is still too close to call Wednesday evening.

With 100% of precincts reporting, the incumbent Democratic Secretary Doug La Follette has a narrow lead on challenger Republican State Rep. Amy Loudenbeck: by 0.3%, which breaks down to 7,043 votes.

Loudenbeck's campaign declined an interview, but in a statement said: “Due to the closeness of Tuesday’s election results, my team and I will continue to review the results of the official canvassing and certification then decide what steps to take once all of the votes have been counted.”

"I'm feeling very confident. Quite positive really. We're ahead by a sufficient number," La Follette said over a Zoom interview on Wednesday. "What that shows us is Wisconsin is a 50/50 state. We're very closely divided. The governor got re-elected, and Senator to go re-elected. And I'm running a very close race."

Candidates can request a recount anytime the difference is under 1%.

"So if the election's within 0.25%, then the campaign doesn't have to pay for it. If it's between 0.25% and 1% then the campaign has to pay for it," explained David Canon, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Canon added that the secretary of state race is coming in at 0.26%.

The likelihood a recount could change the outcome, in this case, is slim.

"I think that should be noted here, is that a margin of 7,000 sounds close. It's really unusual to have a recount flip that many votes. Usually, we're talking about under 100 votes switching," Canon said.

"If the rules require a recount to be done, that's fine with me. I believe in the process," La Follette said.

In 2020, former President Donald Trump's recount in Wisconsin cost about $2.5 million.

Canon estimated the cost would be comparable to the secretary of state race.

As of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, La Follette had 1,265,559 votes to Loudenbeck's 1,258,516 votes, preliminary election data shows. They both received 48 percent of the vote. 100 percent of precincts are reporting.

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