The city of Onalaska is re-tabulating nearly 3,000 absentee ballots for one of its districts after a stack of ballots was found untabulated after election night.
“When reconciling unofficial election night results, it was discovered that a stack of 50 ballots were inadvertently determined to have been tabulated when they had not been,” the city said in a statement.
“In the interest of the utmost transparency, the city of Onalaska has made the decision to re-tabulate the absentee ballots in District One,” the city said.
All initial tally results are considered preliminary until an official canvass is completed, and local officials said this is an example of why tallies are checked multiple times.
“This is why results on election night are unofficial and municipalities are afforded the opportunities to double and triple check the accuracy,” the city of Onalaska said.
On election night, the city of Onalaska reported that 2,809 absentee ballots were cast in its first district, which largely favored Democrats.
Of those ballots, 1,688 were cast for Vice President Joe Biden, 1,050 for President Donald Trump — a difference of 638 votes — and the remaining were cast for third party candidates and write-ins.
For total votes, both those cast at the polls on Election Day and those submitted absentee, Biden won the district 2,009 to 1,699.
The margin between absentee ballots cast for Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, and his opponent, Derrick Van Orden, R-Hager City, was even larger, Kind the favorable candidate in Onalaska’s first district by 750 votes.
The news comes as the state prepares for a likely recount requested by the Trump campaign, after the final reports showed he trailed by less than 1%, but more than 20,000 votes.
A local recount is also possible for the 32nd Senate race after Brad Pfaff, D-Onalaska, won by less than 1% and just under 600 votes.
In Onalaska’s first district, Pfaff beat opponent Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, by just 16 total votes, and earned 370 more votes cast by absentee ballots.
City officials began re-tabulating these ballots at 9 a.m. Thursday morning at the city’s Common Council Chambers, a process which is open to the public.
Officials said the re-tabulation should not take longer than Thursday.
This story may be updated as more results become available.
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