State Lawmakers Withhold Reimbursements For Dane, Milwaukee Counties’ Recount Costs

Milwaukee County Clerk Says Republican Lawmakers Are 'Playing Politics With Money That Isn't Theirs'

Several election observers lean forward to peer through plexiglass at two people counting ballots
Observers lean forward to watch recount workers Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. Angela Major/WPR

The Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature’s budget committee is withholding reimbursements to two counties for their election recount costs.

President Donald Trump’s campaign paid $3 million for recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties, Wisconsin’s two most Democratic areas.

Two Republican lawmakers said Friday they were holding back the money from the counties for now but did not explain why.

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Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson says lawmakers “are playing politics with money that isn’t theirs.”

Under state law, losing candidates can request recounts but must pay the cost upfront if they lost by more than 0.25 percentage points.