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Milwaukee County Wraps Up Presidential Recount With Biden Adding To His Winning Margin

Biden Gains 132 More Votes Than Trump In Milwaukee County, Dane County Recount Expected To Finish Sunday

A woman reaches into a wooden cart to grab a bag containing ballots
A worker pulls ballots from a cart as election officials recount ballots from the 2020 presidential election Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, in Milwaukee. Angela Major/WPR

Milwaukee County completed its presidential recount Friday with President-elect Joe Biden widening his margin of victory.

A few hundred votes were added to the county’s election results during the recount. Biden picked up 257 votes and President Donald Trump gained 125 votes, according to numbers announced Friday evening by Milwaukee County Elections Director Julietta Henry.

On Tuesday, Milwaukee officials discovered 386 previously unopened and uncounted ballots during the recount. Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, said at the time simple human error led to the ballots being previously overlooked.

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Biden went into the recount with a margin of victory of about 20,600 votes statewide.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell tweeted Friday morning that he expects Dane County’s recount to finish Sunday.

The recount must be completed by Tuesday, Dec. 1, when the Wisconsin Elections Commission is scheduled to meet to certify the state’s election results.

The re-tallying in Wisconsin’s two Democratic strongholds began last week. As it has progressed, the president’s campaign has objected to large categories of ballots, attempting to have them disqualified from the recount. Those efforts have so far been unsuccessful, with the three-member boards of canvassers in both Dane and Milwaukee counties voting to reject their arguments. Each of the boards of canvassers is made up of two Democrats and one Republican. Some of their decisions on whether to throw out ballots have been unanimous; others have split along party lines.

The Trump campaign’s objections during the recount could be fodder for a lawsuit after the re-tallying is complete. On Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed before the state Supreme Court seeking to throw out Wisconsin’s presidential election results. That lawsuit is unrelated to the recount.

The Trump campaign requested the partial presidential recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties last week, citing “illegally issued” and “illegally altered” absentee ballots across the state, but arguing those things happened at particularly high levels in the state’s Democratic strongholds.

Election officials have said for weeks there has been no evidence of fraud or irregularities in the election.

Wisconsin’s 2016 statewide presidential recount, paid for by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, resulted in a net change of 131 votes in favor of Trump.