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Capitol Notes: Wisconsin Recount Will Likely End Up In Court

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Election officials wait as procedural issues are argued during the process of recounting ballots from the November 3 election at the Wisconsin Center on November 20, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The presidential recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties is entering its fourth day. Unofficial results from Nov. 3 show President-elect Joe Biden ahead of President Donald Trump in Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes.

Milwaukee County election officials say the recount is moving slowly because Trump’s attorneys have been constantly interrupting and challenging tens of thousands of ballots, alleging fraud and seeking to discount them. They say few votes have actually been counted and the process is falling far behind.

The deadline for Wisconsin to certify its election results is Dec. 1.

In this week’s Capitol Notes, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com what happens next.

“Well, this is all about going to court.  Traditionally in Wisconsin, when you have a recount, all you do is take the ballots and feed them back from machines and count a second time. That's not what the petition that the Trump campaign filed. It’s more about trying to disqualify tens of thousands of ballots that were cast by people who are following the orders or the advice, the directions, they were given by state and local election officials,” says Ross.

The Trump campaign has several different argumentsit is trying to bring before the courts but all center around procedural matters of absentee voting that have been in place since before the 2016 election.

“The Trump campaign is arguing that these voters did not follow the letter of the law, therefore their vote shouldn’t be counted. That's kind of an unusual request and I don't know how far it'll get with the courts but that's where we're heading eventually,” he says.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.