Poll workers prepare absentee ballots at Franklin's central count facility. Franklin is located in southwest Milwaukee County. Photo by David Wise, Nov. 3, 2020.

The Trump campaign will have to pre-pay the estimated cost of a recount before that process can begin, says Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe.

And she added that payment must be received within a day of the last of the state’s 72 counties turning over its canvass to the state. Wolfe said the Elections Commission is currently preparing a cost estimate but said it was too early to speculate on what that figure would be.

In the 2016 presidential election recount carried a final cost of just over $2 million after initial estimates were pegged at around $3.9 million.

This time around, the Trump campaign’s bill for a recount could be even higher.

On top of usual recount expenses like tables, pens, voting equipment and staff wages, Wolfe said some jurisdictions may seek to rent a bigger space to comply with social distancing protocols. State law on recounts has also changed since 2016, and the state can also charge for estimated expenses.

Wolfe said those expenses will largely factor in WEC staff time dedicated to the recount.

Wolfe yesterday told reporters the deadline to request a recount had been three days after the state received county results, but today added changes in the recount law after the 2016 election shrunk that window to one day.

See more on the 2016 recount here.

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