Trump Campaign Faces Wednesday Deadline and $8 Million Cost For Recount Request
2020 Election

Trump Campaign Faces Wednesday Deadline and $8 Million Cost For Recount Request

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The Trump Campaign is mulling its final decision to request a recount in Wisconsin and has until Wednesday to submit and pay nearly $8 million to do so after a completed statewide canvass showed the president trailing Democrat opponent Joe Biden by only 0.62 percentage points.

The final canvassed totals report was submitted to the state elections commission on Tuesday and found the final tally showing Biden leading Trump by 20,608 votes or 0.6 points — below the 1% mark and enough for the Trump campaign to request for a recount. Based on the canvassed results compared with unofficial totals posted by the counties reported that Biden widened his lead over Trump by 62 votes.

In Milwaukee County completed canvas, it showed Biden gained 19 votes while Trump gained two votes.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said the deadline for the Trump campaign to file for a recount and submit the payment is Wednesday at 5 pm CT/ 6 pm ET. According to Wisconsin’s chief elections official Meagan Wolfe, the price tag for a recount is projected to cost $7.9 million, 4 times higher than what it cost Green Party candidate Jill Stein for her request of a recount in the 2016 election.

Wolfe defended the recount cost increase, citing the expenses are due to conducting a recount during the coronavirus pandemic, as well a short time frame and increased security measures.

“Our county clerks have carefully estimated their costs for recounting 3.2 million ballots, which is approximately $7.9 million,” Wolfe said.  “These estimates are significantly higher than the actual costs of the 2016 recount, but they take into account factors not present four years ago, including the need for larger spaces to permit public observation and social distancing, security for those spaces, the higher number of absentee ballots, a compressed timeframe over a holiday, and renting high-speed ballot scanning equipment.”

The Trump campaign had pledged a day after Election Day to request a recount in Wisconsin and has been intensely fundraising since Election Day to cover recount and legal expenses.

“The legal team continues to examine the issues with irregularities in Wisconsin and are leaving all legal options open, including a recount and an audit,” Trump 2020 legal adviser Jenna Ellis said in a statement.

If the Trump campaign files for a recount, Wisconsin would begin the recount process on Saturday after a formal order is issued on Thursday for counties to prep for their recount efforts and has until Dec. 1 as the deadline under state law to complete in order to certify the results before Dec. 14.

The campaign also has the option to narrow down statewide recount and only seek to request a recount in certain counties.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Wolfe said the Election Commission hasn’t received an official request from the Trump team, but said they are ready for it.

“We still have not received any indication that there will or will not be a recount,” Wolfe said.  “But we want Wisconsin’s voters to know we are ready.”

 

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Mona Salama