If President Donald Trump’s campaign requests a recount of the Wisconsin election results, Kewaunee County election recount workers will be paid more than they were in 2016.
About 20,000 votes separated former vice president Joe Biden and Trump with 99% of the votes counted — about 1.63 million to 1.61 million as of Tuesday evening (Nov. 10), or 49.6% to 48.9% — a margin similar to the difference in 2016 when Green Party candidate Jill Stein asked for a recount for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
County Clerk Jamie Annoye said she checked with several other counties and found that recount workers generally are paid in the range of $20-25 an hour.
“In 2016 we really didn’t have a recount worker classification, so we used the Board of Canvassers (rate), and I realized then that we were underpaying compared to other counties,” Annoye told the County Board’s Executive Committee on Monday (Nov. 9). “I was always intending to bring this before you and of course hoping we’d never have another recount, but here we are.”
Kewaunee County pays the Board of Canvassers $40 for up to five hours, or an average of $8 an hour, and $60 for 10 hours, she said.
“I’m not looking to throw a dollar amount out there but asking the county to suggest,” Annoye said. “I would also point out that this recount would occur during Thanksgiving and deer hunting.”
Candidates have 24 hours after the statewide results are certified to file a request for a recount, Annoye said, and the certification is expected around Nov. 18 or 19. Counties would have 13 days to complete their recounts, and once they begin they cannot take a break for more than 24 hours.
Annoye said she is concerned about finding consecutive days to work on the recount and is looking for ways to attract a larger staff than she had in 2016, when the recount took about three and a half days.
County Administrator Scott Feldt emphasized that any rate set by the committee would be only for recount workers, not general poll workers or canvassers.
Supervisor Chuck Wagner made a motion to set the rate at $20 an hour, and the committee agreed unanimously with Chairman Dan Olson abstaining because his wife has served as a chief election inspector. Olson quipped that being able to abstain makes his home life more manageable, as he is not inclined to vote for increased spending of any kind.