MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – Wisconsin wrapped up its presidential results story on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the key battlefield state. Trump has vowed to challenge the result in court even before the recount is complete.
Dane County was the second and last county to complete its recount, reporting a gain of 45 votes for Trump. Milwaukee County, the other large and overwhelmingly liberal state in the state targeted in a recount for which Trump paid $ 3 million, reported its results on Friday, winning Biden 132 votes.
Taken together, the two counties barely budged Biden’s margin of victory by around 20,600 votes, giving the winner a net gain of 87 votes.
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“As we said, the recount only served to reaffirm Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin,” Danielle Melfi, who led Biden’s Wisconsin campaign, said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Jenna Ellis said in a statement that the Wisconsin reports had “revealed serious problems” as to whether the ballots were legal, but offered no specific details. to validate his assertion.
“As we have said from the start, we want every legal vote, and only legal votes to be counted, and we will continue to deliver on our promise to the American people to fight for free and fair elections,” said Ellis.
With no precedent to reverse such an important result as Biden’s, it was generally expected that Trump would appear in court after the recount is complete. His campaign challenged thousands of missing ballots in the recount, and even before it was over, Trump tweeted that he would be suing.
“The Wisconsin recount is not about finding errors in the tally, it’s about finding people who voted illegally, and this case will be brought after the recount ends on Monday or Tuesday,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “We have found many illegal votes. Stay tuned!”
The deadline to certify the vote is Tuesday. Certification is performed by the Democratic chairman of the Wisconsin Election Commission, which is bipartisan.
The Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative group, has already filed a lawsuit against state election officials seeking to block certification of the results. That’s a lot of the claims Trump should be making. Lawyers for Governor Tony Evers have asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss the complaint. Evers, a Democrat, said the complaint was a “mishmash of legal distortions” that uses factual statements to attempt to take away the right to vote from millions of Wisconsin residents.
Another lawsuit filed over the weekend by Wisconsin resident Dean Mueller argues that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and should not be counted.
Trump’s lawyers have complained about mail-in votes where voters identified themselves as “indefinitely confined”, allowing them to vote by mail without showing photo ID; ballots that have a certification envelope with two different ink colors, indicating that a poll officer may have helped fill it out; and mail-in ballots that do not have a separate written record for his application, such as in-person mail-in ballots.
Election officials in both counties counted these ballots during the recount, but marked them as exhibits at the behest of the Trump campaign.
Trump’s campaign has failed in court elsewhere without evidence of widespread fraud, which experts say does not exist. Trump’s legal challenges have failed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.