The legal path for a second term for President Trump continues as the Trump campaign confirmed that it would be filing for a recount in the state of Wisconsin today. The campaign claims to have found voting irregularities in multiple counties in Wisconsin and believes it has enough proof to overturn the certification results.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has received a wire transfer from the Trump campaign for $3 million. No petition has been received yet, but the Trump campaign has told WEC staff one will be filed today. We have no further information at this time.
— Wisconsin Elections (@WI_Elections) November 18, 2020
The Wisconsin Elections Commission confirmed via Twitter that it has “received a wire transfer from the Trump campaign for $3 million” overnight. The commission said it hadn’t received the petition to officially start the recount, “but the Trump campaign has told WEC staff [that] one will be filed today.”
The Wisconsin Legislature allows a candidate the “right to a complete recount” as long as the voting margin is within 1%. The campaign doesn’t have to pay for a full state recount and can pick and chose which counties to look at. This explains why the Trump campaign only transferred $3million of the $7.9 million it would cost for a full state recount.
The legislation allows “a recount petition for part of the wards within a jurisdiction or district, or for part of the municipalities within a district where there are no wards.” This allows the Trump campaign to single out specific areas of the state where they think they have the best chance at overturning the vote certification.
The deadline for the Trump campaign to file the recount petition is “no later than 5 p.m. 2 days after the board canvassers completes the first recount.” If the Trump campaign gets the petition filed by 5 p.m. today, “the proper board of canvassers shall reconvene at 9 a.m.” tomorrow to recount the ballots in all the counties that the Trump campaign included and paid for in the petition.
BREAKING: Trump campaign puts $3 Million behind Wisconsin recount in target counties pic.twitter.com/0y0wEEaBY2
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 18, 2020
The Trump Campaign released a statement saying that it “will file a petition today for a recount in two Wisconsin counties – Milwaukee and Dane.” The statement cites the campaign has evidence of “illegally altered absentee ballots, illegally issued absentee ballots, and illegal advice given by government officials allowing Wisconsin’s Voter ID laws to be circumvented.”
Dane and Milwaukee counties are the most populated counties in Wisconsin, and it is also where the campaign claims to have found the most significant evidence of fraud. The effort to overturn the certification is not without its constant roadblocks. Trump lost the two counties by approximately 350,000 votes, which gives the campaign a higher chance at gaining back the 20,000 votes needed for Trump to take the state. The problem for the Trump campaign is that Democrats tightly control election positions in both counties.
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The campaign claims in its statement that “the Wisconsin Elections Commission directed Wisconsin municipal clerks to illegally alter incomplete absentee ballots contrary to Wisconsin law.” One of the most egregious accusations coming from the Trump campaign is that the “clerks were instructed that they could rely on their own ‘personal knowledge’ or unspecified ‘lists of databases at his or her disposal’ to add in missing information on returned absentee ballots.”