AFP Chicago, IL, United States
Dec 13, 2016, 02.20 AM
Twelve days and almost three million ballots later, US President-elect Donald Trump is still the winner of the presidential election in Wisconsin, state officials said Monday following a recount.
Republican Trump won the Midwestern state by more than 22,000 votes in November, a margin that increased by 131 votes following the recount, according to preliminary statewide totals announced by Wisconsin's election commission.
Third-party candidate Jill Stein a former Green Party candidate-- 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 Trump's victory in the presidential contest.
Trump, who had previously derided recount efforts as "a waste of time," took to Twitter after the new Wisconsin tally was announced.
"The final Wisconsin vote is in and guess what -- we just picked up an additional 131 votes," the real estate tycoon wrote. "The Dems and Green Party can now rest. Scam!"
Wisconsin -- a swing state that had voted Democratic in the past several presidential elections prior to 2016 -- started recounting its ballots on December 1 to meet the Tuesday deadline for certifying the vote.
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," Stein 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."
Fundraising efforts collected more than $7 million to pay for the recounts, which Stein said were necessary to address voting system cybersecurity issues.
On Monday a federal judge rejected Stein's initiative to secure a recount in Pennsylvania. Trump's lawyers had filed suit there seeking to deny Stein's request.
Recount efforts were also thwarted in Michigan after another federal judge halted that drive, citing a lack of evidence that fraud or errors had occurred.
Stein has criticised the pushback from the Trump camp and his supporters, and said a partial recount in Michigan revealed "numerous red flags."