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Wisconsin count would cost Trump $ 7.9 million

President Donald Trump will have to pay $ 7.9 million if he wants a state recount of the unofficial results that indicate he lost to Democrat Joe Biden by about 20,500 votes.

The figure is four times what the count cost four years ago. The increase is due, according to election officials, to expenses related to conducting a recount during the pandemic.

The counties had until Tuesday to certify the election results. Assuming official results for the latest county aren’t released until Tuesday, as anticipated, Trump would have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to ask for a recount. The count could start on Thursday of this week and conclude by December 1 at the latest.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission released the time and cost estimate Monday, which was based on costs submitted by the 72 counted.

“We have not yet received any indication as to whether or not there will be a recount,” said Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top election official. “But we want Wisconsin voters to know that we are ready.”

Trump has made unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing and voter fraud, despite Wisconsin’s election officials saying no large-scale irregularities or problems were reported. Trump has been raising funds to carry out recount, and has indicated that he will continue with his requests, even though the 10 electoral votes that Wisconsin grants would not be enough to change the outcome of the electoral contest.

Trump’s Wisconsin campaign spokeswoman Anna Kelly did not immediately respond to a message for comment on the estimated costs.

Counts are not automatic according to Wisconsin law. But any losing candidate within one percentage point of the winner can apply for one. Trump lost by about 0.60%, based on unofficial results. Candidates must cover the expenses of the recount if they are more than 0.25% away from the winner.