The presidential race in Wisconsin was once again on the razor’s edge as late absentee ballot counts nudged Joe Biden into the lead over President Donald Trump.
With all but two of the state’s 3,689 precincts reporting results, Biden had a 20,748-vote edge.
Trump held a lead of some 100,000 votes early this morning before absentee ballots from central count locations in Kenosha County and the city of Milwaukee reported around 3:30 a.m combined to give Biden a slender lead of roughly 9,000 votes.
Absentee ballots from Green Bay’s central count location swelled that lead to around 11,000 before the last large-scale batch of absentee ballots, some 9,600 from Kenosha County, capped off Biden’s total.
It will be the fourth time in the past 20 years that Wisconsin’s electoral votes were decided by fewer than 25,000 votes. Four years ago, Trump won Wisconsin by 22,748 votes.
Before that, Dem Al Gore won by just 5,708 votes in 2000, while Dem John Kerry took the state by 11,384 in 2004.
Under state law, there is no automatic recount. But second-place candidates can request one if they finish within 1 percentage point of the winner. If the margin is less than 0.25 percentage points, the loser doesn’t have to cover the cost of the second count.
With 3.24 million votes cast in the presidential election, the margin stood at 0.63 percentage points. (Note: Updated totals from the Wisconsin Elections Commission show 3,296,650 votes cast.)
Turnout exceeded the previous record from 2012 of nearly 3.1 million votes. But at 72.7 percent, it fell short of the 2004 high-water mark in terms of percentage turnout, 73.2 percent, because the voting age population was significantly lower.
See more results in the WisPolitics.com Election Blog.
Editor’s note: Turnout figures updated 11/10/2020.