Ballots are stored in boxes and bags as workers recount Milwaukee County's ballots at the Wisconsin Center. Photo by Adam Kelnhofer, WisPolitics.com, Nov. 23, 2020.

Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said it’s highly unlikely the recount will finish by the end of the day.

He said he’s staying optimistic, but he still thinks the effort will need work through Friday to finish. “I still just feel as though we will need Friday; I just don’t see us finishing tomorrow,” he said in a press conference with local and national media near the end of the day yesterday.

But the recount effort is still moving faster than it was on Friday and Saturday because the Biden and Trump legal teams are working well together, as are the teams of observers and elections workers on the floor, he said.

He said delays have been avoided now that envelopes that fall under the two standing objection categories agreed upon by commissioners are set aside. “Those objections have been dealt with, and so they’ve been able to work through those faster,” he said.

Trump campaign lawyers said the Election Commission board’s characterization of Trump observers as being disruptive earlier in the process were not accurate. But commission chair Tim Poznanski said, “In effect, observers objected to each and every ballot in two wards within the City of Milwaukee, and that will be the end of this. We’re not going to engage in this colloquy.”

One pair of election workers told WisPolitics.com they had no major hangups or objections yesterday. The workers said observers were more trying to help make sure they got the counts correct than interrupt the process.

In hindsight, Christenson said he would have tried to reduce tensions between parties earlier in the process.

“A handful or so” of people were asked to leave by their own parties, but Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputies escorted seven observers off the property since the start of the recount, Christenson said. WisPolitics observed at least two people escorted away by law enforcement for video recording private voter information with their phones.

Wristbands featuring a feces emoji handed out after health screenings at the Wisconsin Center yesterday will likely not make an appearance today, an election commission spokesman told WisPolitics.

The paper wristbands that featured emojis of smiling piles of poop sparked controversy yesterday morning as conservative talk show host Vicki McKenna tweeted that their use implied officials were not taking the recount process seriously. The bands were given to observers, participants and media to signify they passed the required health screening.

“I always thought it was chocolate ice cream personally,” Christenson said.

He said the Wisconsin Center is responsible for providing the wristbands, not the Milwaukee County Clerk’s office or Election Commission.

“They are probably just pulling what they have in stock because this is the first opportunity they have had to be open in quite some time due to this pandemic, so again, it’s a non-issue, everybody got one,” he said.

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