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Politics & Government

More Than Two-Thirds Of Wisconsin Counties Finish Canvass

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Scott Olson
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Getty Images
Election officials begin counting absentee ballots at City Hall on Nov. 3 in Beloit, Wis. Wisconsin requires election officials to wait to begin counting these votes until after polls open on Election Day.

More than two thirds of Wisconsin counties had completed certifying the results of last week's presidential election as of Wednesday, but the last one is still not expected to be finished until the Nov. 17 deadline.

All counties must finish the work before President Donald Trump can request a recount as he has said he will. Unofficial results showed Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump by about 20,500 votes. That is within the 1-point margin to allow for a recount, but the 0.63-point spread is wide enough that Trump would have to pay for it.

A 2016 presidential recount, which resulted in only a 131 net-change in votes, cost Green Party candidate Jill Stein about $2 million.

As of Wednesday, 49 out of 72 counties had submitted their canvassed results to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Some of the state's largest counties were still working on it, including Milwaukee, Dane, Waukesha and Brown.

Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno said in an email Wednesday that it was a “slow going process” and they were down on available staff members due to COVID-19. Because of that, Juno said she did not anticipate finishing the canvass until the Nov. 17 deadline.

Trump has until 5 p.m. the day after the last canvass is completed to request the recount.

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