WISCONSIN (AFP) - Twelve days and almost three million ballots later, Republican Donald Trump is still the winner of the presidential election in Wisconsin, state officials said following a recount.
President-elect Trump won the state by more than 22,000 votes in November, a margin that increased by 162 votes following the recount, according to preliminary statewide totals announced by Wisconsin's election commission on Monday (Tuesday Dec 13, Singapore time).
"The final Wisconsin vote is in and guess what - we just picked up an additional 131 votes. The Dems and Green Party can now rest. Scam!" Mr Trump tweeted.
Third-party candidate Jill Stein of the Green Party – who received about one per cent of the vote – had spearheaded efforts to force recounts in Wisconsin as well as in Michigan and Pennsylvania. The three states were crucial to Mr Trump’s victory in the presidential contest.
Wisconsin – a swing state that had voted Democratic in the past several presidential elections prior to 2016 – started recounting its election ballots on Dec 1 to meet the Tuesday deadline for certifying the vote.
Courts blocked recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Fund-raising efforts collected more than US$7 million (S$10 million) to pay for the recounts, which Dr Stein said were necessary to address voting system cyber security issues as well as concerns over potential hacking.
The Wisconsin recount “was never about changing the outcome; it was about validating the vote and restoring confidence in our voting system to Americans across the country who have doubt”, she said in a statement.
“The recount in Wisconsin raised a number of important election integrity issues that bear further assessment and serious action to ensure we have integrity and confidence in our electoral system.”
On Monday a federal judge rejected Dr Stein’s initiative to secure an election recount in Pennsylvania.
Mr Trump’s lawyers had filed suit there seeking to deny her request for a recount.
Recount efforts were also thwarted in Michigan after another federal judge halted that drive, citing a lack of evidence that election fraud or errors had occurred.
Dr Stein has criticised the opposition from the Trump campaign and his supporters, and said in Michigan a partial recount revealed “numerous red flags”.