, ,

Wisconsin Presidential Recount Continues After Weekend Of Conflict Between Officials, Observers

Recount In Democratic Strongholds Must Be Completed By Dec. 1

Six people gather around boxes on the floor as they look through documents
Election officials gather around boxes of documents during a recount Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. Angela Major/WPR

Wisconsin’s partial presidential recount continued Monday following a weekend of conflict between Trump campaign observers and election officials.

Milwaukee’s county clerk George Christenson told reporters Saturday that ballot re-tallying was proceeding more slowly than expected because of a large number of objections from observers affiliated with President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The Trump campaign lodged several wide-ranging objections to ballots when the recount began Friday, attempting to throw out votes cast during Wisconsin’s in-person early voting period and ballots cast by indefinitely confined voters. The bipartisan, three-member county boards of canvassers in both Dane and Milwaukee counties rejected those requests to exclude ballots from the recount.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Over the weekend, attorneys with the Trump campaign in Milwaukee asked that all absentee ballot envelopes in Oak Creek be pulled and sequestered, among other challenges.

“I won’t presume to try to explain their reasoning, that was their request and that’s their right,” Christenson said.

[[{“fid”:”1388471″,”view_mode”:”full_width”,”fields”:{“format”:”full_width”,”alignment”:”center”,”field_image_caption[und][0][value]”:”%3Cp%3EA%20worker%20pulls%20ballots%20from%20a%20cart%20as%20election%20officials%20recount%20ballots%20from%20the%202020%20presidential%20election%20Monday%2C%20Nov.%2023%2C%202020%2C%20in%20Milwaukee.%20%3Cem%3EAngela%20Major%2FWPR%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E%0A”,”field_image_caption[und][0][format]”:”full_html”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”A woman reaches into a wooden cart to grab a bag containing ballots”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Milwaukee Recount”},”type”:”media”,”field_deltas”:{“1”:{“format”:”full_width”,”alignment”:”center”,”field_image_caption[und][0][value]”:”%3Cp%3EA%20worker%20pulls%20ballots%20from%20a%20cart%20as%20election%20officials%20recount%20ballots%20from%20the%202020%20presidential%20election%20Monday%2C%20Nov.%2023%2C%202020%2C%20in%20Milwaukee.%20%3Cem%3EAngela%20Major%2FWPR%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E%0A”,”field_image_caption[und][0][format]”:”full_html”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”A woman reaches into a wooden cart to grab a bag containing ballots”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Milwaukee Recount”}},”link_text”:false,”attributes”:{“alt”:”A woman reaches into a wooden cart to grab a bag containing ballots”,”title”:”Milwaukee Recount”,”class”:”media-element file-full-width media-wysiwyg-align-center”,”data-delta”:”1″}}]]Trump attorneys have asked that absentee ballot envelopes with different colored ink be set aside as well. They are also separating ballots from voters who said they are “indefinitely confined.”

Christenson said things were progressing much more quickly Monday and, as of about 11:30 a.m., the Trump campaign hadn’t launched any objections.

In Dane County, county clerk Scott McDonell said his workers hadn’t experienced the same pushback from Trump campaign observers that was seen over the weekend in Milwaukee.

It appears it was worse in Milwaukee,” McDonell said. “We have had some problems … that seems to have gone away. I think the (Trump campaign) legal team has a plan for how they want to handle (objections) that will keep things moving.”

Both McDonell and Christenson said they expect to finish their recounts by the Dec. 1 deadline, when the Wisconsin Elections Commission is scheduled to meet to certify the state’s election results. The re-tallying is expected to continue every day until then, including weekends, except for Thanksgiving Day.

“I’m the eternal optimist,” Christenson said. “I would hope we’ll be done before Dec. 1. But again, we have until Dec. 1, and we’re very confident we will make that.”

Milwaukee County suburbs are about a quarter of the way finished with the recount, with the following communities complete: Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Hales Corners, Greendale and Oak Creek. On Monday, the communities of Shorewood, Wauwatosa, Franklin, West Allis and Milwaukee are set to be counted.

In Dane County on Monday, workers processed ballots from DeForest, Stoughton, Oregon, Westport, Waunakee, Middleton, Fitchburg and Sun Prairie.

[[{“fid”:”1388466″,”view_mode”:”full_width”,”fields”:{“format”:”full_width”,”alignment”:”center”,”field_image_caption[und][0][value]”:”%3Cp%3EA%20worker%20walks%20past%20bags%20of%20ballots%20Monday%2C%20Nov.%2023%2C%202020%2C%20during%20a%20recount%20in%20Milwaukee.%20%3Cem%3EAngela%20Major%2FWPR%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E%0A”,”field_image_caption[und][0][format]”:”full_html”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”A woman walks past boxes and bags containing ballots”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Milwaukee Recount”},”type”:”media”,”field_deltas”:{“2”:{“format”:”full_width”,”alignment”:”center”,”field_image_caption[und][0][value]”:”%3Cp%3EA%20worker%20walks%20past%20bags%20of%20ballots%20Monday%2C%20Nov.%2023%2C%202020%2C%20during%20a%20recount%20in%20Milwaukee.%20%3Cem%3EAngela%20Major%2FWPR%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E%0A”,”field_image_caption[und][0][format]”:”full_html”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”A woman walks past boxes and bags containing ballots”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Milwaukee Recount”}},”link_text”:false,”attributes”:{“alt”:”A woman walks past boxes and bags containing ballots”,”title”:”Milwaukee Recount”,”class”:”media-element file-full-width media-wysiwyg-align-center”,”data-delta”:”2″}}]]According to a re-tallying update provided by clerks to the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Sunday, only a small number of votes have been changed as a result of the recount.

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

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

According to certified results from county clerks finalized last week, President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump by 20,608 votes in Wisconsin.

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

Recount observers affiliated with the Trump campaign have been told not to speak to the media. Jane, who agreed to talk without giving her last name, said she wanted to observe in Milwaukee because of what she referred to as voting irregularities — but after waiting an hour and a half in the cold to get into the Wisconsin Center on Monday morning, she’s not sure how many more days she’ll do this.

“There is just too many instances of flimflam uncovered already and I just wanted to be sure the vote was as right as it could be here,” Jane said.

Jane claimed more ballots were cast in Wisconsin than there were people registered to vote in the state on Election Day. That misinformation, which spread widely on social media after Nov. 3, has been fact-checked and proven to be untrue.

Darryl Morin, president and chairman of the Forward Latino board of directors was also in Milwaukee observing the recount. He was there to support Biden.

Morin said he wants to make sure no voter, regardless of race, gender or religion, has their constitutional right to vote taken away.

[[{“fid”:”1388511″,”view_mode”:”full_width”,”fields”:{“format”:”full_width”,”alignment”:””,”field_image_caption[und][0][value]”:”%3Cp%3EElection%20officials%20work%20behind%20plexiglass%20Monday%2C%20Nov.%2023%2C%202020%2C%20at%20the%20Wisconsin%20Center%20in%20Milwaukee.%20%3Cem%3EAngela%20Major%2FWPR%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E%0A”,”field_image_caption[und][0][format]”:”full_html”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”A woman in a US flag face mask and face shield speaks to two other election observers”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Milwaukee Recount”},”type”:”media”,”field_deltas”:{“3”:{“format”:”full_width”,”alignment”:””,”field_image_caption[und][0][value]”:”%3Cp%3EElection%20officials%20work%20behind%20plexiglass%20Monday%2C%20Nov.%2023%2C%202020%2C%20at%20the%20Wisconsin%20Center%20in%20Milwaukee.%20%3Cem%3EAngela%20Major%2FWPR%3C%2Fem%3E%3C%2Fp%3E%0A”,”field_image_caption[und][0][format]”:”full_html”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”A woman in a US flag face mask and face shield speaks to two other election observers”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”Milwaukee Recount”}},”link_text”:false,”attributes”:{“alt”:”A woman in a US flag face mask and face shield speaks to two other election observers”,”title”:”Milwaukee Recount”,”class”:”media-element file-full-width”,”data-delta”:”3″}}]]

While supplies last... WPR Sticker Pack. With your gift of any amount. Donate Now.