President Trump files for recount in Milwaukee and Dane Counties
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed for a partial recount in Wisconsin, alleging irregularities with absentee ballots.
The recount was requested in the heavily Democratic counties of Milwaukee and Dane. Both counties went for President-elect Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate.
The campaign says these counties are “the locations of the worst irregularities." They allege clerks illegally altered absentee ballots and issued absentee ballots to voters who did not apply for them.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has stated there were no irregularities with the Nov. 3 election. “Wisconsin’s election was conducted according to law and in the open,” said Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official.
The Trump campaign wired $3 million to the Wisconsin Elections Commission to cover the cost of the partial recount. They filed the paperwork Wednesday morning. CLICK HERE to read the Trump campaign’s recount petition.
“The request is for all of Milwaukee and Dane Counties. No other counties or jurisdictions were requested,” said Wolfe. “It was filed in-person in our office today at 10:58 a.m. and appears, upon facial review, to meet all of the requirements in pairing with the payment that was received late yesterday.”
FULL STATEMENT FROM THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN:
President Donald J. Trump’s re-election campaign will file a petition today for a recount in two Wisconsin counties – Milwaukee and Dane – citing illegally altered absentee ballots, illegally issued absentee ballots, and illegal advice given by government officials allowing Wisconsin’s Voter ID laws to be circumvented. These two counties were selected because they are the locations of the worst irregularities. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. transferred $3 million to Wisconsin to cover the estimated cost of the recounts.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission directed Wisconsin municipal clerks to illegally alter incomplete absentee ballots contrary to Wisconsin law. Clerks were instructed that they could rely on their own “personal knowledge,” or unspecified “lists or databases at his or her disposal” to add in missing information on returned absentee ballots. Under Wisconsin law, incomplete absentee ballots may not be counted.
Municipal clerks across Wisconsin issued absentee ballots to voters without requiring an application, in direct conflict with Wisconsin’s absentee voting safeguards. Wisconsin law expressly requires that absentee ballots may not be issued without receiving a written application requesting the ballot. Despite this clear mandatory requirement, clerks uniformly issued absentee ballots without collecting a written application from persons who requested absentee ballots in person during the two week in-person absentee voting period that ran from October 20, 2020 through November 1, 2020.
Voter identification is an essential requirement in Wisconsin and elsewhere to ensure that only eligible voters may cast their ballots. In clear abuse of Wisconsin’s provision to issue ballots to indefinitely confined voters without requiring them to present voter identification, some Democrat county clerks illegally advised voters to illegally mischaracterize that they were indefinitely confined to circumvent Wisconsin voter ID law. Those claiming to be “indefinitely confined” rose from 72,000 in 2019 to more than 240,000 at the time of the November 3, 2020 election. A substantial number of those claiming that status were sent and then returned ballots without proper identification and without otherwise meeting the requirements for that status.
“The people of Wisconsin deserve to know whether their election processes worked in a legal and transparent way. Regrettably, the integrity of the election results cannot be trusted without a recount in these two counties and uniform enforcement of Wisconsin absentee ballot requirements. We will not know the true results of the election until only the legal ballots cast are counted,” said Jim Troupis, counsel to the campaign. “We will not stop fighting for transparency and integrity in our electoral process to ensure that all Americans can trust the results of a free and fair election in Wisconsin and across the country.”
The petition will be filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
In Milwaukee County, Biden received 317,270 votes to Trump’s 134,357 votes.
In Dane County, Biden received 260,185 votes to Trump’s 78,800 votes.
Ben Wikler, Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, says “the history of recounts suggests the [Biden’s] win is insurmountable.”
“We won once,” Wikler tweeted. “Thanks to the tireless efforts and dedication of poll workers, clerks, and other election officials, Wisconsin ran one of the smoothest and most transparent elections in its history. Now we’ll recount some votes—demonstrate again that Biden’s our next president.”
The WEC said a statewide recount would have cost about $7.9 million.
All of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have certified election results with the WEC. President-elect Joe Biden maintained a 20,427-vote lead over Trump. The canvass showed little change in the numbers reported after election night. However, the result was within the one percent margin for the president to ask for a recount.
After a recount has been filed for by a candidate, the Commission Chair will issue the Recount Order, which starts the 13 day recount clock, and, according to the WEC, is the first day that recount boards can meet.
The deadline for county boards of canvassers must convene for the recount is Saturday, November 21 at 9 a.m.
After that, the deadline to finish the recount is Tuesday, December 1.
“We understand the eyes of the world will be on these Wisconsin counties over the next few weeks. We remain committed to providing information about the process and assisting our county clerks by providing facts on the mechanics of a recount and status updates,” said Wolfe.
Earlier this week, three voters from Northeast Wisconsin dropped their federal lawsuit that sought to stop certification of votes in Menominee, Milwaukee and Dane counties.
A Notice of Voluntary Dismissal was filed with the federal court in Green Bay Monday. The brief notice didn’t provide any information except that the “action is voluntarily dismissed without prejudice against all Defendants.”
The lawsuit included claims from people who said they received ballots they didn’t ask for, received multiple ballots, or were told when they voted in-person that they’d requested a ballot by mail. The suit acknowledges these are anecdotal and unproven because plaintiffs didn’t have time to investigate their truthfulness before the election results were certified.
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