Milwaukee County’s recount of the presidential vote tally ended Friday, with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden adding 132 votes to his margin of victory over President Donald Trump in Milwaukee County.
In all, Biden got 257 votes and Trump added 125. The results arrived Friday night, seven days after the effort to recount the nearly 460,000 votes cast in the county in downtown Wisconsin Center began. . The final total totaled 459,723.
Before the recount, Biden had 317,270 votes in Milwaukee County versus Trump’s 134,357. The recount brought the totals to 317,527 for Biden and 134,482 for Trump.
Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said after the Milwaukee County Council of Commissioners adjourned at 5:30 p.m. that the recount showed the county elections were fair, transparent, accurate and secure.
“I promised it would be a transparent and fair process, and it has been,” Christenson said. “There was a review of every ballot by election officers, a meticulous recount of every ballot that was correctly cast, a transparent process that allowed the public to observe, a fair process that allows the aggrieved candidate who requested the recount an opportunity to observe and object to ballots which they believe should not be counted. “
He said the county had met all of the unique challenges presented in the recount, including the coronavirus pandemic.
And Christenson, a Democrat, and the three members of the board of directors of the only Republican of canvassers, Rick Baas, pointed out bipartisan work during the recount.
Baas said he trusts the Trump campaign “is looking forward to his day in court” and that some things had to be corrected during the recount.
“It is important that people understand how their government works,” Baas said. “A recount is just that: a recount. Now there is evidence that is going to be taken to another level and it will be reviewed there, but this body has conducted itself in an exemplary manner. We were not the one. rest of the country. We didn’t have any screaming, screaming, screaming. We had a lawyer who could make an articulate argument. We did our best given the circumstances we find ourselves in. ”
The Dane County recount was scheduled to continue over the weekend, after a Thanksgiving day off. Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell tweeted Friday morning, the recount was about 65% done and he expected to finish on Sunday.
The recounts are due to be completed on Tuesday, in time for the state Election Commission to certify the results before the deadline set by state law.
Trump’s campaign paid $ 3 million for the partial recount in the Nov. 3 presidential election, calling for a resumption of votes only in the state’s largest and most liberal counties, Milwaukee and Dane.
Trump lost the state by nearly 21,000 votes to Biden.
The defeat came after Trump won the swing state by an equally narrow margin in his 2016 run against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The campaign has tried unsuccessfully to get large swaths of rejected votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties, but the vote controversy may not end when the recounts come to an end.
Political observers believe that the challenges raised by Trump’s representatives during the recount process were intended to set the stage for a trial. A court challenge has the potential to further alter the vote count that the county arrived on Friday.
But since the recount began, the terrain has changed across the country, with key states of Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania certifying that their number of votes for Biden and the Trump administration pave the way for Biden’s transition to government. White House to officially begin.
Milwaukee County Completes Recount Days Before Dec. 1 Deadline
During the recount, everyone who entered the Wisconsin Center room had their temperature taken to make sure they did not have a fever and everyone had to wear masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the course of the seven days, the three members of the Milwaukee County Solicitors’ Council – two Democrats and one Republican – and lawyers for each campaign argued over individual votes and broad categories of ballots. There were delays in the first two days because, according to county officials, Trump watchers issued one objection after another.
There have been tense exchanges between Chairman of the Board, Tim Posnanski, a Democrat, and Trump’s campaign lawyer, Joe Voiland, a former Ozaukee County judge, about the application of ‘a policy limiting the taking of photos by observers. At one point, Posnanski told Voiland that he remembered the peasant from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” yelling, “Help, help, I’m being suppressed.”
And, of course, there was the brief feud over the poop emoji bracelets handed out by the Wisconsin Center on Tuesday to indicate that those who entered the building were fever-free.
The recount grabbed headlines when the City of Milwaukee found 386 missing unopened and uncounted ballots from a southern neighborhood. The Board of Solicitors voted unanimously, 3-0, that the ballot envelopes should be opened and the ballots counted.
In the following days, the city realized that it had misplaced 65 additional ballots. The executive director of the municipal election commission, Claire Woodall-Vogg, reported to council on Wednesday that the ballots were found only to signal Friday that they were still missing.
“After I went to the council, I looked (the ballots) and my heart sank,” Woodall-Vogg told the Sentinel Journal, realizing that the ballots actually remained misplaced.
Christenson said the 65 missing ballots would not be counted unless they were found on Friday before the county election results were certified. The ballots were not counted on Friday.
There were 344,220 mail-in ballot applications filed in Milwaukee County for the November election, with 108,947 voters participating via in-person mail-in voting, according to data provided by the county from the database. state voter registration data. Of the ballots requested, 18,408 were not returned. Of those absent, 51,060 self-declared indefinite incarceration, which allowed them to vote as absent without meeting state photo ID requirements.
During the recount, election workers were instructed to set aside envelopes for absentees with a different colored ink indicating that a clerk filled out a witness address and absentee envelopes that identify electors incarcerated indefinitely . The Trump campaign had ongoing objections to those ballots, but was rejected by the board, who agreed to put the envelopes aside.
The campaign also opposed in-person absence envelopes, which were also canceled. There were 108,947 voters who participated in the in-person vote in the county, according to county records. These were not put aside because of the volume.
In the end, the total envelopes set aside amounted to 42,234.
All the ballots with the associated envelopes that were set aside have been counted.
The Trump campaign argued Friday that by not allowing the separation of additional categories of envelopes and absentee ballots, the recount process had not allowed the campaign to know exactly how many ballots and how many envelopes she objected.
“This procedure has prevented us from determining the exact number of envelopes or ballots that are the subject of these objections,” lawyer Stewart Karge told the Solicitors Council. “This process has therefore denied us the possibility of establishing here the exact number of ballots or absence envelopes that are the subject of our objections. If these objections are subsequently upheld, it will be necessary to re-examine these envelopes and ballots to determine the exact number of votes that should be rejected and not counted in this recount. “
He said those categories include envelopes with missing witness signatures for in-person postal votes, absence envelopes without clerk’s initials and ballots without “required clerk’s initials.”
Biden’s attorney, Christopher Meuler, said before the council adjourned that state election administrators and poll workers had made “heroic efforts to conduct free and fair elections and to ensure that all Wisconsinites can vote and have their ballots counted.
He added: “The petitioners have provided no evidence of fraud, they have repeatedly challenged and objected to deny voters their rights on technical matters. And as the factual record indicates … no case of fraud was discovered during this recount. “