With the Wisconsin statewide recount now fully underway, designated election observers have been monitoring the hand recounts of the election officials. Many of the observers who have been designated on behalf of third party candidate Jill Stein are sharing their first hand recount experiences on her official website. Most notable among them: one observer who reports that five of the nine voting machines in her county had tampered seals – and she posted visual evidence to prove it.
The observer, named Wendy, has been observing the recount in St. Croix County. According to the state’s official election website, that county is currently doing both a hand recount and a machine recount. That’s what makes it notable that Wendy spotted the broken seals on five of the nine machines in question. Based on the photographs she posted to Stein’s official campaign website, the broken seals themselves come with the warning label that “Removal of seal voids warranty.” Take a look at one of her photos below:
There has as of yet been no explanation from Wisconsin officials or St. Croix County officials as to why the majority of vote counting machines in the county have been visibly tampered with, and no one noticed during the original vote tally. It’s possible that these seals could have been broken by a hacker who was reprogramming them to produce rigged or false vote totals, and it’s also possible that an election worker could have simply pried open the seals for some unknown reason that didn’t involve malicious intent. But in any case, the broken tamper seals stand out as alarming – and could serve as legal fodder for expanding the scope of the recount.
A judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to force every Wisconsin county to do a hand recount, and that each county could decide on its own whether to do hand recounts or machine recounts. Sixty of the seventy-two counties have voluntarily agreed to do hand recounts. However, of the twelve counties which refused, Donald Trump won nine of them. These tampered seals could be used to convince the judge to order the remaining twelve counties to do hand recounts.