A ballot recount requested by President Donald Trump in Wisconsin’s largest county has given a slight bump to Democratic challenger Joe Biden, as local officials work through a second audit in another major district.
The new tally from Milwaukee County gave Biden a net increase of 132 votes after it concluded on Friday, out of some 460,000 ballots cast in total. While Trump himself gained 125 votes, the Democratic candidate accrued more than twice that number overall.
Official summary of the Board of Canvassers: pic.twitter.com/uK05DV3GyI
— Alison Dirr (@AlisonDirr) November 27, 2020
After losing out to Biden by more than 20,000 votes in the state, the Trump team called for recounts in two of Wisconsin’s largest and most Democratic-leaning counties – Milwaukee and Dane – hoping to flip the state red in what would have been a dramatic reversal. While Dane County’s results aren’t expected to be ready until Sunday, the recounts have already cost the Trump campaign some $3 million in expenses.
Trump has repeatedly alleged significant voter fraud in the 2020 race, claiming irregularities in the mail-in ballot system – more heavily favored this year amid the coronavirus pandemic – as well as glitches in voting software and misconduct by local election officials. Though his campaign launched a string of lawsuits across key swing states looking to overturn results, none have handed Trump any major wins.
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In Wisconsin, the president’s lawyers have pointed to thousands of ballots from voters who identified as “indefinitely confined,” which permitted them to cast absentee ballots in lieu of a photo ID. At the request of the Trump team, those votes were set aside as exhibits for future litigation.
Following the conclusion of Milwaukee’s recount, County Clerk George Christenson, a Democrat, said the new tally only proved “what we already know: that elections in Milwaukee County are fair, transparent, accurate and secure.”
The sole Republican on the county’s board of canvassers, Rick Baas, said that the Trump campaign was likely “looking forward to its day in court,” suggesting it could raise new evidence in a legal challenge, but added that the board “conducted itself in a manner that is exemplary.”
While Trump could still launch a new lawsuit over Wisconsin’s election, he will have to do so quickly, as the state is set to certify its result as soon as next Tuesday. However, a conservative activist group, the Wisconsin Voters Alliance, has already filed a suit seeking to delay certification, potentially buying the president more time.
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