Tomah Republican Nancy VanderMeer gained votes in the canvass of totals in the 70th Assembly District, but it’s not enough to trigger a recount at public expense.
Democratic incumbent Amy Sue Vruwink’s margin dropped to 144 votes, or 50.27 percent, after canvasses conducted Tuesday and Wednesday in Jackson, Monroe, Portage and Wood counties. Her margin is just over the 0.5 percentage points that would entitle VanderMeer to a free recount.
VanderMeer can still request a recount by paying $5 per ward. She has until Monday to decide. An effort to reach her before press time was unsuccessful.
Vruwink believes her victory margin is secure.
“The numbers are all in, and I’m confident in the professional staffs of the county clerks in the district,” Vruwink said. “I feel pretty good about where we’re at.”
Vruwink’s election-night lead shrunk by 24 votes. Most of the loss came from the Monroe County town of Greenfield, where VanderMeer gained 20 votes. The county recorded 224 votes for VanderMeer from Greenfield on election night, but the canvass bumped the total to 244.
The Jackson County totals didn’t change, and the vote totals didn’t move by more than four votes in either Wood or Portage county.
Joel Gratz, executive director of the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, doubts the outcome will change.
“In the modern era of electronic machines, there is not a lot of change that comes from a recount,” Gratz said. “To change the outcome with a 144-vote margin is pretty unlikely.”
The outcome won’t affect the balance of power in the Assembly, where Republicans hold a 60-39 advantage assuming Vruwink prevails and an incumbent Republican from Wisconsin Rapids locked in tight race retains his seat.