The countdown is now on for President Trump’s campaign to request a recount in Wisconsin after the final two outstanding counties today submitted canvasses to the state.
Today’s submission of certified results from Brown and Kenosha counties gives the president’s campaign a deadline of 5 p.m. tomorrow to file for a recount and pre-pay the estimated costs. The state Elections Commission yesterday pegged the cost of a statewide recount at $7.9 million, though that sum could be reduced if the Trump campaign seeks a more targeted recount at the county, municipal or ward level.
When reached for comment, a Trump campaign spokeswoman directed WisPolitics.com to a statement released yesterday by Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis.
“The legal team continues to examine the issues with irregularities in Wisconsin and are leaving all legal options open, including a recount and an audit,” Ellis said while offering no specifics of any alleged irregularities.
The results from all 72 Wisconsin counties show Joe Biden has picked up a net 181 votes to expand his lead over President Trump to 20,608 votes.
Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said last week said such a small change was standard for a presidential election.
She noted the canvass process is where counties add provisional ballots to the tally. Those are ballots that are filled out on election day but can’t be processed for a number of reasons, including the voter forgetting to bring photo ID to the polling station. The state issued 336 such ballots and voters had until 4 p.m on Nov. 6 to correct the issue.
Wolfe also said human error plays a role.
One minor error, she said, came from a municipal clerk missing a military ballot on election night. Ballots can be sent electronically to members of the military and their families.
The ballot was received by the deadline of 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 but came in an “irregular” envelope, leading local officials to miss it in their initial tally.
Wolfe also said a large percentage of municipalities are so small they don’t use tabulating equipment and count ballots by hand. While those jurisdictions only represent around 5 percent of ballots cast in the state, Wolfe said “you can also see human errors in that as well.”
The largest deviation between the results certified in the canvass and unofficial results from election night was also a case of human error. In Shawano County, Clerk Pamela Schmidt said a municipality initially reported 636 votes for Trump on election night. But the correct number was 362. It appeared to be a data entry mistake, she said.
See the WEC’s unofficial numbers:
See the county canvass submissions: