We're quickly falling into that time of year when people start to think about the holidays and stop thinking so much about politics. Maybe not this year.
Anyway - I'd like to invite you all to spend a little more time over the next few weeks thinking about your families and those things in life that make you happiest, and to stop thinking about the past election and the upcoming coronation err --- inauguration. It's coming no matter what, so you might as well try to have a little peace and joy for a while. The recount in Wisconsin is supposed to end tomorrow and be reported on Tuesday, so that will be one more thing that will be over with. I'm working on relaxing a little and getting caught up on the rest of my life. I'm sure you'll hear more from us before New Years, but it may be a little less than normal. That Turkey ain't gonna eat itself.
Winter came to Buffalo County. The weather turned to snow and then to ice.
In our hilly part of the world, rural people are used to finding new ways out of the valleys during bad weather. However, for residents living in Schoepps Valley (pronounced “Sheps”) the usual way out is not an option.
People at the Oceti Sakowin Camp are rejoicing this afternoon as the Army has announced that the Corps of Engineers is denying the easement for the pipeline under Lake Oahe. This essentially halts construction for the time being, and the Army Corps of Engineers is planning for an Environmental Impact Study with public input.
Today Judge James Peterson denied the request filed by two PACs supporting Donald Trump. The request asked fro an immediate temporary halt of the recount in Wisconsin. The judge ruled that allowing the recount to proceed would not hurt anything, and that the recount may proceed while the lawsuit makes its way through the federal court system.
Judge Peterson has scheduled a hearing for the suit on Dec. 9. This is three days before the recount will need to be completed so that the results may be filed in time for the vote of the Electoral College.
You may or may not have noticed that The Feed disappeared from the site today, and from the top menu. We've run that feature for several years now on the site. It's a Rebelmouse page, and it has always been kind of a fun and nifty feature. Unfortunately Rebelmouse is changing quite a lot, and they've dropped their free plan,and the new non-free plans are way out of my price range. We were grandfathered in, but although they are doing a whole lot of neat stuff with their paid platform, things are not changing particularly on the free sites. There will be some more new stuff going on here and over on https://wis.community as time goes on, but The Feed is now dead here.
This is probably not a surprising move, but groups supporting Donald Trump have filed suit this morning to stop the recount in Wisconsin. The suit was filed by numerous plaintiffs including The Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC.
The gist of the complaint is that there is not a consistent method for determining the intent of voters on ballots that may not be decisive. They are depending on the Bush v. Gore precedent as a defense of their position. In general the argument is that there is not a standard to ensure that votes will be treated equally in different jurisdictions. There is also not time to develop and promote a standard fast enough to make the deadline of the federal safe harbor law. Reports appear to be that the elections commission is asking canvassers to continue the recount until such time that there is a legal decision. Fasten your seatbelts, this will continue to be a bumpy ride.
I realize that in a lot of ways this is like watching the drying paint channel - but for those of you who are so inclined, this is the live video coverage of the Wisconsin recount from Hudson, WI - courtesy of The Uptake.
As you will see in the Storify article below, a lot happened yesterday RE: the recount. Please follow the links in the Storify for external documents.
The Stein campaign made a wire transfer to the state of 3.5 million dollars shortly before the deadline. An interesting sidelight is that somehow when tallying the estimates of all of the counties, a mistake was made, and the Stein campaign was invoiced for 3.5 million when it should have been 3.9 million. My guess is that the esitmates were probably high (if I were a county clerk I would have decided to err on the high side rather than the low side too) so this may all come out in the wash. In any case, the Stein campaign will be on the hook for the total recount costs, and will be given a refund if the cost is lower than the estimate, so this may all come out in the wash. The estimate was considerably higher than anyone anticipated, so Stein is off raising more money to cover the other states in which they are issuing recount petitions.
Drama unfolded late last night as Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn ruled that the Stein campaign had not met the rather strong standard in the law for requesting a totally hand recount. Therefore, individual counties will have the right to decide whether to use scanners to re-scan the votes filed by scanner ballots, or to hand count them . In any case, all of the ballots are inspected as they are fed into the scanner. Votes made on totally electronic voting machines will be hand-counted from the paper tapes that provide an audit trail from those machines. This is long and laborious process - I did this as a volunteer during the last state-wide recall and it takes quite a while to count those votes and tabulate them. It is not clear how difficult it will be for the county canvasses to be completed by the deadline of 8 PM on Dec. 12, nor is it completely clear what will happen if the deadline is not met.