Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel will not seek a recount of the votes cast in the November election. According to the final vote canvass, Schimel lost by 17,190 votes to Josh Kaul, the Democratic Party challenger. While the vote margin was within the one percent threshold allowing a recount, Schimel said in a statement released Monday the difference was likely too much for the attorney general to overcome.
“While we did receive 77,000 more votes than four years ago, my team and I believe the 17,000 vote gap is definitive,” Schimel said. “We could have raised the funds necessary to pay for the recount, but in the end, we felt the odds of finding enough votes were too narrow to justify putting the county clerks, their staff and the public through such an ordeal at this time. The people of Wisconsin are good, God is great, and I accept the verdict of the electorate. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Wisconsin’s Attorney General.”
Schimel’s loss to Kaul was the narrowest margin of victory in a statewide office for the Democrats. The margin actually shrunk while the county vote canvasses took place, going from an unofficial difference of 22,673 votes to the current margin of 17,190.
Judging by past recount results, it was highly unlikely a recount would change the results. In 2011, the recount in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race only resulted in a swing of 300 votes or 0.02 percent of the total vote changed. After the 2016 election recount, President Donald Trump increased his margin of victory over Hillary Clinton by just 131 votes out of 2787820 total votes cast, or 0.005 percent of the total votes cast.