The outcome of a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court election could be decided by a recount.
State Assistant Attorney General Joanne Kloppenburg requested the statewide recount after losing by more than 7,316 votes to Justice David Prosser. The margin is within one-half of 1 percent of the total votes cast, entitling Kloppenburg to a statewide recount at local governments' expense.
Kloppenburg said at a news conference that her campaign detected "widespread anomalies" in the election around the state. She didn't directly answer questions about whether she felt she could make up 7,000 votes, saying instead she wants to shine light on how the election was conducted.
"Wisconsin residents must have full confidence that these election results are legitimate and that this election was fair," Kloppenburg said.
The election was seen as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker's plan to cut the budget by limiting public unions' collective bargaining rights.
Prosser is considered more likely to uphold the budget plan if it goes to the state high court.
State election officials said the recount would likely begin next week.
Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, which oversees Wisconsin elections, said he had no estimates for what the recount might cost local officials. Suzette Emmer, the deputy Administrator for the Milwaukee County Election Commission, says the commission estimates the recount would cost that county alone about $500,000.
"It may well take several weeks and it'll be an immense cost," Prosser spokesman Brian Schimming said Wednesday. "And it frankly begs the question of what the motive is because there is no statistical, logical, evidence-based or even anecdotal reason to do this recount."