During the midterm elections on Tuesday, November 6, Governor Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin lost his reelection bid to Democrat Tony Evers in the narrowest margin the state has seen for 50 years. With 99% of precincts reporting by Wednesday morning, Evers led Walker 49.6% to 48.4%, a margin of 1.2%. With just 31,000 votes separating the winner from the loser, Governor Walker probably would have loved a recount to swing some votes his way.
Sadly, a law he signed in 2016 bars him from asking for one.
GOP set themselves up. They didn't believe we could rally against them. We are wide awake!
— Kim Pickens (@italsista) November 7, 2018
After the 2016 Presidential elections, in which Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by only 23,000 votes in Wisconsin, Governor Walker signed a law which allowed recounts only when the two candidates were within 1% of each other. At the time, it may have seemed like a good way to guarantee victory for Republican candidates who narrowly edge out their Democratic opponents, but it has now ended Walker’s race once and for all.
Can’t imagine a funnier end to Scott Walker’s political career than refusing to concede but being unable to ask for a recount because of a law he passed, then accepting defeat and doing a “God’s plan” Facebook post pic.twitter.com/9rf3RgYo7X
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) November 8, 2018
Beautiful irony from the midterms:
NRA darling Karen Handel loses to mom of gun violence victim.
Baker discriminates against gay couple, now has gay governor.
Scott Walker's own law stops him from getting recount.
Trump voter suppression guru Kris Kobach can't rig his state.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) November 8, 2018
The law also stipulates that an automatic, free recount must take place if the margin between two candidates is less than 0.25%. If the margin is between 0.25% and 1%, the projected losing candidate must petition and pay for the recount.
Walker’s campaign spokesman, Brian Reisinger, had previously claimed that Walker wanted an examination of “damaged ballots,” as well as an official canvas of the vote which shows results from absentee and provisional ballots. But it seems those things may not come to pass without the recount Walker himself outlawed.
At one point, Walker’s lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, told the press she was getting ready for a “long, drawn-out recount.” But thanks to Walker’s legislation, she can take some time off to relax.
Twitter was delighted by the irony:
— Justina (@yolajustina) November 8, 2018
Walker released a statement on Wednesday, conceding to Evers:
It has been my honor to serve as your Governor for nearly eight years. We’ve come a long way together and it is my sincere hope that the progress we’ve made during our time in office will continue and that we can keep Wisconsin working for generations to come.
*Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Gov. Scott Walker as Gov. Rick Scott.