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Trump campaign files for recount in Dane, Milwaukee counties

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MADISON (WKOW) -- President Donald Trump's campaign filed for a recount of the presidential votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties.

The campaign released a statement Wednesday morning announcing its intentions before officially filing its petition later in the day.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said that the recounts requested are only for Milwaukee and Dane Counties. The petition was filed in-person at the WEC's Madison office just before 11 a.m.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said that it received a $3 million payment from the campaign overnight prior to the campaign's filing. The campaign said the funds are to cover the expected costs of the recount in the two counties.

Previous statewide recounts have altered election results by only a few hundred votes, far fewer than the more than 20,000 Trump would need to move the Badger State into his column.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said in a statement last week that it has seen no evidence to cast doubt on the election results.

As reasoning for initiating the recount, the Trump Campaign cited "illegally altered absentee ballots, illegally issued absentee ballots, and illegal advice given by government officials allowing Wisconsin’s Voter ID laws to be circumvented."

The campaign offered no evidence to support its claims.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell doubted that the recount would change much.

The recount will take place at the Monona Terrace and live cameras will be used so the public can observe the process.

McDonnell highlighted the safeguards the voting process has in place to prevent fraudulent voting.

He is not yet sure if Dane County will conduct its recount by hand or with machines. In 2016, the county recounted votes by hand, but McDonnell said that the ongoing pandemic will factor into the decision.

Both Milwaukee and Dane counties voted for Biden by wide margins in the Nov. 3 General Election. The two counties are traditionally Democratic strongholds.

Below is a timeline for the recount process as laid out by the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Wednesday, November 18 by 5:00 p.m. – The deadline for the aggrieved presidential candidate to file for a recount and submit payment.

Thursday, November 19, 2020 – The Commission Chair issues the Recount Order.  This starts the 13-day recount clock and is also the first day that recount boards can meet.

Saturday, November 21, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. – The deadline by which county boards of canvassers must convene for the recount (no later than 9:00 a.m. on the third day after the recount order is issued). 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 – The deadline to complete the recount.  This is also the deadline, under Wisconsin law, for WEC to certify results from the General Election.  Therefore, recounts must be completed and results must be filed with WEC by noon on December 1, 2020.  

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JT Cestkowski

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