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Lawsuit over La Crosse sheriff recount could still go to trial



The recount of last year’s election for sheriff in La Crosse County could be debated at a civil trial within a few months. 

A court hearing is planned this July, on a lawsuit that challenges how the November recount was conducted after John Siegel was elected sheriff. 

Siegel defeated Fritz Leinfelder for the open position by 176 votes. 

The suit was filed against the La Crosse County clerk’s office by voter Mary Jo Werner, who observed the recount for sheriff. Werner is concerned about election rules that allow college students to vote on local races in the towns where they go to school part-time, possibly diminishing the votes of full-time residents. 

Attorney Erik Olsen (left) and plaintiff Mary Jo Werner (right) getting ready to speak to reporters after a Dec. 2, 2022 La Crosse County court hearing challenging the November recount for sheriff. (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Judge Elliott Levine ruled last fall that candidates can challenge election results under Wisconsin law, but individual voters cannot.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Martha Linville

    February 11, 2023 at 8:28 am

    I still don’t understand just how this woman has standing to bring a lawsuit (she is not the candidate), and why against the county clerk, who does not set the rules but simply watches over the administration of those rules.

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