Wisconsin Issues Recount Warrants in Two Counties

The Wisconsin Elections Commission ordered the recount of more than 800,000 votes in two mostly Democratic counties, at the request of President Donald Trump.

The order, required by law after Trump paid the $ 3 million to pay for the recount, came to fruition after a fierce more than five-hour debate Wednesday night that heralds the looming partisan dispute.

“It is incredible that the six of us cannot agree in a civilized way on this,” said Democratic Commissioner Mark Thomspon after several hours of debate. The commission is made up of three Democrats and three Republicans.

Counts in Milwaukee and Dane counties, where Joe Biden outscored Trump by a margin of more than 2 to 1, will begin Friday and must be completed by Dec. 1. Milwaukee County officials said they plan to finish the count Wednesday.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell indicated that “it would be great to finish before Thanksgiving,” but did not provide an estimate of the end date.

Biden won the state by 20,608 votes. the Trump campaign has cited “irregularities” in the counties, despite the fact that no evidence of any illegal activity has been presented.

“We understand that the eyes of the world will be on these Wisconsin counties for the next several weeks,” Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top elections official, said Thursday. “We look forward to once again demonstrating the strength, security, integrity and transparency of our electoral systems in Wisconsin.”

The commission debated changes to its manual that provides guidance to local election officials on how to carry out recounts.

Ultimately, they chose not to refer to the manual in its order, but did update some parts to mention the provisions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioners did not agree on changes to the manual that Democrats and election commission staff said would align current recommendations with state law.

Republicans declined, saying those guidelines should not be altered after Trump called for the recount.