Wisconsin confirms Biden’s win as Trump says he will bring a lawsuit | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Jouranl Sentinel

The Democrat leading Wisconsin’s elections board confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the state Monday as Republicans contended she should have waited to act because of a likely lawsuit from President Donald Trump.   Ann Jacobs, the chairwoman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, verified Biden’s win by about 20,700 votes a day after the completion of a partial recount that found dozens more votes for Biden. She finalized the vote totals just hours after Arizona’s secretary of state certified Biden won that state, further narrowing the Republican president’s chances of persuading courts to give him a second term. Trump has said he will bring a lawsuit in Wisconsin by Tuesday. During the recount, his campaign unsuccessfully tried to throw out 238,00 votes cast in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the state’s most liberal places. As have past election officials, Jacobs on Monday signed a statement of canvass to confirm who won the election. It showed Biden had 20,682 more votes than Trump out of about 3.3 million cast. “I have examined this statement and I am now signing it as the official state determination of the results of the Nov. 3, 2020, election and the canvass,” Jacobs said during a 4-minute-long live-streamed event with Meagan Wolfe, the director of the commission.

Full Article: Wisconsin recount: Elections leader confirms Biden’s win


Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump, cementing the president’s failure to change the election results | Rosalind S. Helderman/The Washington Post

The recount of presidential ballots in Wisconsin’s two largest counties finished Sunday, reconfirming that President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Trump in the key swing state by more than 20,000 votes. After Milwaukee County completed its tally Friday and Dane County concluded its count Sunday, there was little change in the final breakdown of the more than 800,000 ballots that had been cast in the two jurisdictions. As a result of the recount, Biden’s lead over Trump in Wisconsin grew by 87 votes. Under Wisconsin law, Trump was required to foot the bill for the partial recount — meaning his campaign paid $3 million only to see Biden’s lead expand. The results of the Wisconsin recount cemented Trump’s failure to alter the results of the November election in a series of states where he has falsely alleged there was widespread fraud and irregularities. His efforts to stop Michigan officials from certifying the vote there earlier this month ran aground. A hand recount of ballots in Georgia confirmed Biden’s win in that state. Two new court decisions in Pennsylvania late last week rejected the Trump campaign’s attempts to halt the vote count there, the latest in a series of forceful judicial opinions that have tossed out claims by the president and his allies around the country. On Monday, Arizona — the fifth of the six states where Trump has tried to upend the vote certification process — is set to finalize its results. The Wisconsin Election Commission is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, at which time state law says the election results will be certified by the chairwoman of the six-member panel, who is a Democrat.

Full Article: Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump, cementing the president’s failure to change the election results – The Washington Post


Wisconsin: Milwaukee County recount wraps up with Biden adding to his margin | Alison Dirr/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee County’s recount of the presidential election vote tally came to an end 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 gained 257 votes and Trump added 125. The results came Friday evening, seven days after the effort to recount nearly 460,000 ballots cast in the county began at the downtown Wisconsin Center. The final tally totaled 459,723. Before the recount, Biden had 317,270 votes in Milwaukee County to Trump’s 134,357. The recount boosted the totals to 317,527 for Biden and 134,482 for Trump. Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said after the Milwaukee County Board of Commissioners adjourned at 5:30 p.m. that the recount demonstrated that elections in the county are fair, transparent, accurate and secure. “I promised that this would be a transparent and fair process, and it was,” Christenson said. “There was an examination of every ballot by election workers, a meticulous recounting of every ballot that was properly cast, a transparent process that allowed the public to observe, a fair process that allows the aggrieved candidate who sought the recount an opportunity to observe and object to ballots they believe should not be counted.”

Full Article: Milwaukee County recount wraps up with Biden adding to his margin

Wisconsin election system Donald Trump is attacking was built by Republicans | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In his move to overturn Wisconsin’s election results, President Donald Trump is attacking a voting system built entirely by Republicans. The state’s voting laws and procedures were overhauled repeatedly during eight years of GOP control of state government. Republicans dissolved the body that oversees elections and replaced it with one equally divided by Republicans and Democrats. They put in place a voter ID law, shortened the early voting period to two weeks, eliminated straight-ticket voting and barred voter registration drives. Now Trump and his team are vilifying the very system Republicans put in place, arguing that it is rife with irregularities. Trump’s campaign is using a recount in the Democratic strongholds of Dane and Milwaukee counties to try to throw out thousands of ballots. He hopes to flip the results in Wisconsin, which went for Democrat Joe Biden by nearly 21,000 votes. But with more states certifying their results, it wouldn’t be enough to give him the presidency.  Republicans rewrote Wisconsin’s election laws over the years because they said they wanted to improve voting integrity and ensure the public had confidence in it. Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said he doesn’t buy those claims. “Really it’s just about power,” said McDonell, a Democrat who is overseeing the recount in Dane County. “The tip off is when they’re trying to throw out their own ballots.”

Full Article: The Wisconsin voting system Donald Trump is attacking was built by Republicans


Wisconsin: Republicans sue to stop vote certification | Scott Bauer/Associated Press

Republicans filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to block certification of the presidential election results even as a recount over President-elect Joe Biden’s win over President Donald Trump is ongoing. The lawsuit echoes many of the same arguments Trump is making in trying, unsuccessfully, to have tens of thousands of ballots discounted during the recount. It also seeks to give the power to name presidential electors to the Republican-controlled Legislature. Wisconsin state law allows the political parties to pick electors, which was done in October. Once the election results are certified, which is scheduled to be done Dec. 1, those pre-determined electors will cast their ballots for the winner on Dec. 14. “The litigation filed this afternoon seeks to disenfranchise every Wisconsinite who voted in this year’s presidential election,” said Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul. “The Wisconsin Department of Justice will ensure that Wisconsin’s presidential electors are selected based on the will of the more than 3 million Wisconsin voters who cast a ballot.” The lawsuit also rehashes a claim that a federal court rejected in September that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to “illegally circumvent Wisconsin absentee voting laws” through grants awarded by a nonprofit center he funds. At least 10 cases have been filed across the country seeking to halt certification in parts or all of key battleground states, including lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign in Michigan and Pennsylvania. So far none have been successful. Wisconsin’s election results are scheduled to be certified Dec. 1.

Full Article: Republicans sue to stop Wisconsin vote certification

Wisconsin: Nearly 400 Uncounted Ballots Found In City Of Milwaukee | Corrinne Hess/Wisconsin Public Radio

Nearly 400 ballot envelopes cast in the November election from a voting ward on the City of Milwaukee’s south side were never counted. The uncounted ballots were discovered during day five of the recount at the Wisconsin Center by Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, who said it appeared simple human error was the cause. “I reviewed the paper work and it was new election inspectors who worked one shift on Election Day,” Woodall-Vogg told reporters Tuesday. “If there is one positive to come out of the recount, it is that every vote is undoubtedly being counted.” Stewart Karge, a Trump campaign representative, objected to the ballots being opened and counted. Karge said there was no chain of custody since the Nov. 3 election. The board of canvassers voted unanimously to open the ballots. These 386 ballots could change the outcome for Ward 315, where 466 people there voted for President-elect Joe Biden and 436 voted for President Donald Trump, but not for the City of Milwaukee, where Biden won by close to 79 percent.

Full Article: Nearly 400 Uncounted Ballots Found In City Of Milwaukee | Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin: Debunking Election Claims: How Misinformation Is Slowing Wisconsin’s Recount | Joy Powers and Jack Hurbanis/WUWM

The Wisconsin election recount is continuing in Milwaukee and Dane counties, but officials say uninformed observers are obstructing the process. It’s also slow moving because President Donald Trump’s attorneys have been making unsubstantiated claims of fraud. In part, these issues may stem from a bigger issue facing the recount process — rampant misinformation. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Eric Litke keeps track of these claims for PolitiFact Wisconsin and he says many of the claims being made about ballots go back to election night and how ballots were reported. “The biggest stuff all really ties down to how votes were reported, we have this tendency to see the vote returns on election night as this kind of a horse race or something but in reality, those votes all exist, it’s just a matter of which pile we get to first,” says Litke. With large cities like Milwaukee, it was known before the election that a record number of people would vote absentee and those ballots would skew towards Democrats. When those votes were announced, many then tried to paint it as something nefarious or wrong. Amongst a few of the specific claims Litke has been following, one honed in on the Milwaukee Election Commission and a flash drive. Because the city of Milwaukee’s voting machines are not connected to the internet, the central count of absentee ballots had to be placed on flash drives. The total count took twelve flash drives but when the head of the Milwaukee Election Commission arrived at the reporting facility, she only had eleven flash drives.

Full Article: Debunking Election Claims: How Misinformation Is Slowing Wisconsin’s Recount | WUWM

Wisconsin: With deadline a week away, partial presidential recount continues | Briana Reilly/The Capital Times

Elections officials in two Wisconsin counties are continuing their work to re-tally ballots cast in the November presidential contest as they near the Dec. 1 deadline to complete the recount. The long-shot push to flip the state for President Donald Trump, which is surely headed to the courts after the recount ends, has sought to invalidate thousands of absentee ballots from voters who had followed guidance provided to them by their local clerks and others. The process kicked-off in the state’s two biggest and bluest counties, Dane and Milwaukee, on Friday, though it took a while for the counting to officially begin. As of Monday morning, Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said nearly one-quarter of ballots cast have been tabulated by the start of the fourth day of the recount requested and paid for by Trump’s campaign. “We are slightly behind schedule but catching up,” he wrote on Twitter, noting 55 of the 253 reporting units have been completed thus far. “So grateful for all who are pitching in for democracy.” This week will include the Madison portion of the recount, where voters’ ballots in the city make up just under half of Dane’s total votes (according to the recent canvassed results from the state’s counties) and are spread across more than 150 reporting units. The clerk’s office will be closed this week as officials prepare to answer questions for the three-member Board of Canvassers, which is controlled 2-1 by Democrats.

Full Article: With deadline a week away, Wisconsin’s partial presidential recount continues | Local Government | madison.com

Wisconsin: In last-gasp maneuver, Trump campaign tries to invalidate thousands of votes as recount gets underway | Rosalind S. Helderman and Dan Simmons/The Washington Post

President Trump’s campaign is seeking to use a recount of the presidential election in Wisconsin to attempt to invalidate tens of thousands of votes in the state, making sweeping challenges to whole categories of ballots cast in the state’s two Democratic-leaning counties in his last-gasp effort to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s win. As a recount began on Friday in Dane and Milwaukee counties — home to the cities of Madison and Milwaukee — Trump lawyers argued that officials should not merely retabulate all the votes cast in the Nov. 3 election to reconfirm they’d been counted properly. Instead, they argued that large batches of ballots had been improperly accepted and counted in the first place. In both Dane and Milwaukee, they sought to disqualify all absentee ballots that had been cast before Election Day in person, rather than by mail. So far, their efforts have been rejected by the Democratic-majority boards of canvassers in both counties, which have denied attempts to set aside large categories of ballots and instead proceeded to a slow-moving process to retabulate all the votes. The recount must conclude no later than Dec. 1, when the election is scheduled to be certified. At that point, the president’s campaign could file a lawsuit over its rejected challenges — potentially delaying certification.

Full Article: In last-gasp maneuver, Trump campaign tries to invalidate thousands of votes as Wisconsin recount gets underway – The Washington Post

Wisconsin: Attorney heading up Trump campaign’s recount effort is seeking to throw out his own vote | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The attorney leading President Donald Trump’s recount effort in Wisconsin voted illegally according to his own legal argument that in-person absentee ballots should be thrown out. So did his wife. Jim Troupis, a former Dane County judge and Cross Plains attorney who is representing the Trump campaign, would not answer questions about why he and his wife voted that way. Troupis and his wife voted early using the state’s in-person absentee option — one of a group of voters whose ballots the Trump campaign has asked election officials to deem illegal. Their names appeared on exhibits Troupis submitted to the Dane County Board of Canvassers on Sunday, during the county’s third day of retallying ballots. The exhibits include lists of voters who voted in a manner the campaign alleges is illegal, an argument the Board of Canvassers has rejected. The information was provided by Dane County to both campaigns. “I’m sure I’m on that list,” he said, while referring other questions to the recount effort’s communications team, which includes Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Andrew Hitt. Hitt did not immediately answer questions.

Full Article: Attorney heading up Trump campaign’s Wisconsin recount effort is seeking to throw out his own vote

Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount | Michael Tarm/Associated Press

Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count. Trump requested the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both heavily liberal, in hopes of undoing Democrat Joe Biden’s victory by about 20,600 votes. With no precedent for a recount reversing such a large margin, Trump’s strategy is widely seen as aimed at an eventual court challenge, part of a push in key states to undo his election loss. A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee was putting the recount far behind schedule, county clerk George Christenson said. He said many Trump observers were breaking rules by constantly interrupting vote counters with questions and comments. “That’s unacceptable,” he said. He said some of the Trump observers “clearly don’t know what they are doing.” Tim Posnanski, a county election commissioner, told his fellow commissioners there appeared to be two Trump representatives at some tables where tabulators were counting ballots, violating rules that call for one observer from each campaign per table. Posnanski said some Trump representatives seemed to be posing as independents. At one recount table, a Trump observer objected to every ballot that tabulators pulled from a bag simply because they were folded, election officials told the panel. Posnanski called it “prima facie evidence of bad faith by the Trump campaign.” He added later: “I want to know what is going on and why there continues to be obstruction.”

Full Article: Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount

Wisconsin: Trump continues alleging irregularities in Democratic strongholds without evidence | Briana Reilly/The Capital Times

President Donald Trump is targeting two of Wisconsin’s biggest and bluest counties as he pursues a partial recount of the state that played a crucial role in vaulting him to the White House four years ago and denying him this year. With his 2016 win decided by less than 1 percentage point, he repeatedly denounced a recount pursued in Wisconsin and elsewhere as a “scam.” But this time, with the outcome reversed, his campaign has embraced a re-tallying of the votes in this key battleground state. Chief among his campaign’s complaints is the repeated and unsubstantiated claim of “irregularities” in the absentee voting process, though Trump operatives haven’t provided evidence and elections officials have said they haven’t heard about issues surrounding how the election was conducted. The Trump campaign’s decision to focus on Dane and Milwaukee counties is notable; the two play a crucial role in any Democrat’s statewide election bid given their populations and heavily blue nature.

Full Article: Trump continues alleging irregularities in Wisconsin Democratic strongholds without evidence | Local Government | madison.com

Wisconsin: Trump is seeking a recount in two counties, but what he’s really doing is preparing for a lawsuit | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump for now is seeking a recount in two Wisconsin counties, but what he’s really doing is preparing for a lawsuit. Why? Trump could see a long-shot chance of getting multiple states to change their vote totals. Or, a legal challenge could provide Trump fodder to keep his base revved up for a 2024 run, alleging the long-standing process of electing presidents that delivered former Vice President Joe Biden a victory was unfair. The recount petition he filed Wednesday asked to throw out broad swaths of votes in the state’s two most Democratic areas — something the county clerks there are sure to reject. But by pursuing the recount, Trump has given himself a vehicle for a lawsuit that would likely go before a judge by early December. It could quickly get to the state Supreme Court, where conservatives hold a 4-3 majority. The influence of the high court would be felt from the start. Under state law, Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack will get to choose which judge initially hears a recount lawsuit. She will also get to select the court that hears any appeals. Democrats called Trump’s arguments against counting some ballots baseless and said clerks were unlikely to accept his claims when they begin recounting votes on Friday. But they also expressed worries that the state’s high court, with its history of siding with Republicans, could go along with a request to toss ballots in Milwaukee and Dane counties and shift the state’s 10 electoral votes from Biden to Trump.

Full Article: Trump is seeking a recount in two Wisconsin counties, but what he’s really doing is preparing for a lawsuit | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin: In suspicions raised about validity of Milwaukee’s vote, leaders see harmful racial undertones | Mary Spicuzza and Alison Dirr/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

City leaders slammed the decision by President Donald Trump to seek a recount focused heavily on Milwaukee County, accusing Trump of racism and trying to disenfranchise voters here — especially Black voters. Rather than seeking a recount of the entire state in his longshot bid to reverse the Nov. 3 election results, Trump’s campaign said it would focus only on Dane and Milwaukee counties. The two counties — the state’s largest — are Democratic strongholds, with Milwaukee home to the state’s largest percentage of Black and Latino voters. “No surprise, Donald Trump has been consistent. He’ll go after communities of color, and he’ll go after communities where there are lots of Democrats,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a Wednesday interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And he doesn’t care. “Obviously I’m offended that he picks the county and the city that has the highest percentage of African Americans in the state.” Barrett added: “A failed candidate, a failed campaign, and soon to be a failed recount effort.”

Full Article: In suspicions raised about validity of Milwaukee’s vote, leaders see harmful racial undertones

Wisconsin: Trump campaign moves to seek partial recount hoping to overturn results | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump will seek a recount of ballots in liberal Dane and Milwaukee counties, hoping to overturn the election results in his favor. Trump’s campaign paid the state $3 million as of Wednesday morning to start a partial recount, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The campaign said it would seek a recount in the state’s two most populous and liberal-leaning counties. Former Dane County Judge Jim Troupis is representing the campaign in its recount effort. “We will not stop fighting for transparency and integrity in our electoral process to ensure that all Americans can trust the results of a free and fair election in Wisconsin and across the country,” Troupis said in a statement. Trump would have had to pay nearly $8 million to conduct a full statewide recount of Wisconsin, a state he narrowly lost two weeks ago by nearly 21,000 votes. A recount of certain counties costs less. A recount in Milwaukee County is estimated to cost about $2 million, according to the elections commission. Dane County would cost about $740,000. In Milwaukee County, Biden beat Trump 317,270 votes to 134,357, according to the final canvass. The county canvass added 19 votes for Biden and 2 for Trump compared to the unofficial results.

Full Article: Trump campaign moves to seek partial recount of Wisconsin, hoping to overturn results

Wisconsin Clerks Complete Certification As Recount Deadline Approaches | Laurel White/Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin election officials completed a statewide, county-level certification of election results Tuesday, opening up a roughly 24-hour window for a recount to be requested in the state — something President Donald Trump’s campaign has said it plans to do. The county canvass of votes, a process mandated by state law for every election, does things like compare the number of voters in poll books to the number of ballots cast. During the canvass, election officials also check to make sure results printed manually from voting machines on election night match the results transferred over encrypted networks, review write-in candidate tally sheets and process provisional ballots. The county canvass follows a similar, municipal-level canvass. All 72 county clerks had finished the canvass process and submitted their certified results as of Tuesday morning, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The canvass resulted in a net gain of 62 votes for President-elect Joe Biden, compared to unofficial election night results. The canvass shows Biden defeated Trump in Wisconsin by 20,608 votes. Under state law, the Trump campaign has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to request a recount. The president’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, said on the day after Election Day the campaign planned to request a recount in Wisconsin “immediately.” A spokesperson for the campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Trump’s campaign would have to pay for a recount to be carried out. The Wisconsin Elections Commission said Monday such a recount is estimated to cost $7.9 million, a large increase from the 2016 presidential recount price tag of $2 million. That’s in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full estimated cost is due at the time the recount is requested.

Full Article: Wisconsin Clerks Complete Certification As Recount Deadline Approaches | Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin: Trump campaign would have to pay nearly $8 million for recount | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

President Donald Trump’s campaign would have to pay nearly $8 million to start a recount in Wisconsin, a state he narrowly lost two weeks ago. Trump will have to decide by Wednesday whether to carry through with the recount he has promised to pursue. If his campaign pays the $7.9 million cost up front, the recount will begin as soon as Thursday and be complete by Dec. 1, according to the state Elections Commission. Trump has been furiously fundraising for the Wisconsin recount and legal challenges in other states to try to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. If he doesn’t go ahead with the Wisconsin recount, he can use the money he’s raised for other purposes, such as retiring his campaign debt. The price tag for the Wisconsin recount is nearly four times as much as a recount in 2016. That year, the campaign of Green Party candidate Jill Stein had to pay just over $2 million for the recount it had requested.

Full Article: Trump campaign would have to pay nearly $8 million for Wisconsin recount

Wisconsin: Lawsuit on behalf of Trump seeks to exclude votes from Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee counties | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Three voters in northeast Wisconsin have filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to throw out votes in three of the counties that delivered Wisconsin to President-elect Joe Biden: Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee. The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Green Bay seeks to change the outcome of Wisconsin’s election to President Donald Trump’s favor by excluding the presidential votes from the counties in the state’s final election certification, alleging without evidence that absentee voting is fraught with widespread fraud. The plaintiffs allege voters in these counties may have bypassed state law requiring voters to provide photo identification by dubbing themselves “indefinitely confined” due to the coronavirus pandemic. The suit also takes issue with clerks’ ability to take corrective actions to remedy errors related to witness’s addresses on absentee ballots. The suit cites allegations from people who are not named but identified by initials. The voters listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Michael Langenhorst of Door County, Michael LeMay of Brown County and Stephen Fifrick of Oconto County.

Full Article: Lawsuit on behalf of Trump seeks to exclude votes from Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee counties” | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Wisconsin: Misplaced Milwaukee flash drive morphs into false reports of election fraud | Howard Hardee and Keenan Chen/Wisconsin State Journal

As a tornado of disinformation regarding the vote count has descended on Wisconsin, political spinmeisters have seized upon a lapse by a Milwaukee election officer to falsely claim evidence of voter fraud in a critical swing state decided by a little more than 20,000 votes. Claire Woodall-Vogg, Milwaukee’s chief election official, briefly misplaced a flash drive containing vote counts on Election Night, she said in a Nov. 9 letter to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. About 3 a.m. on Nov. 4, as poll workers finished counting absentee ballots in Milwaukee, she delivered several flash drives containing absentee vote tallies to the Milwaukee County Election Commission — and realized that she had left one in a tabulator at the central counting center. She called a member of her team, who retrieved the flash drive and a police officer delivered it shortly afterward. “I believe it is important to document that the flash drive was never left unattended and that the staff had remained in the room throughout the process,” Woodall-Vogg said. “The incident bears no impact on the validity of the results.” Nothing indicates that the contents of the flash drive were altered. Asked by Wisconsin Watch to address the incident, Reid Magney, spokesman for the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission, said, “We are confident that there are no issues with the election results in Milwaukee.”

Full Article: Misplaced Milwaukee flash drive morphs into false reports of election fraud | Local Government | madison.com

Wisconsin elections head says still no evidence of fraud | Scott Bauer/Associated Press

There remained no evidence of any wrongdoing, fraud or irregularity in Wisconsin’s presidential election on Thursday, as counties worked to wrap up the certification of their votes and their estimates of how much it would cost to recount them, the state’s top elections official said. Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in Wisconsin by about 20,500 votes, based on unofficial results. Trump and his allies have made unsubstantiated claims of wrongdoing, with no evidence, and Republicans in the Legislature have said they planned to launch an investigation into the integrity of the election. Election results from 55 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties were certified as of Thursday morning, with only marginal net changes to the unofficial results that were reported on election night. Biden has picked up 43 additional votes while Trump gained 39, giving Biden a net pickup of just four votes. One reason for the changes is the counting of provisional ballots that came in after Election Day, said Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top elections official. She said there were 366 provisional ballots issued in the presidential election. “It’s rare to see any sort of significant changes,” Wolfe said. “There’s always minor errors. … We’re certainly not seeing anything unusual.” Wolfe defended the integrity of the election, noting all the opportunities the public has to observe the process, including on Election Day, during the county canvass and during any recount that may occur.

Full Article: Wisconsin elections head says still no evidence of fraud

Wisconsin Republicans say election probe likely won’t change results | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin lawmakers plan to issue their first subpoenas in decades as part of an investigation into the Nov. 3 election, even as the top Republican in the Assembly acknowledges the probe is unlikely to change the outcome. The move comes as supporters of President Donald Trump grapple with a narrow loss in a state they won four years ago by a sliver. As in other states, Wisconsin Republicans are alleging voter fraud but so far are not providing evidence of widespread problems that would take away President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. “I think it is unlikely we would find enough cases of fraud to overturn the election. I think it’s unlikely, but I don’t know that. That’s why you have an investigation,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican from Rochester. The state Senate and Assembly’s committees on elections plan to hold a joint hearing next week on how the election was conducted, said Rep. Ron Tusler, a Harrison Republican and the chairman of the Assembly committee. He said he would call Meagan Wolfe, the director of the state Elections Commission, to testify and plans to subpoena municipal clerks or others to force them to come before the committees.

Full Article: Wisconsin Republicans say election probe likely won’t change results

Wisconsin: Republicans claim clerks illegally altered absentee ballots, but they were following election guidance | Haley BeMiller/USA Today

Wisconsin’s election is under a microscope as President Donald Trump cries fraud about the Nov. 3 presidential race that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is projected to win.  The president and his supporters have said, without evidence, that rampant voter fraud allowed his opponent to claim victory after he started election night ahead. Biden took the lead in Wisconsin and other key battleground states after clerks counted mail-in ballots largely cast by Democrats, according to unofficial results — a trend observers predicted heading into the election. Now, a new claim is making the rounds on social media. … Absentee voters in Wisconsin place their ballot in an envelope, also called a certificate, that they sign before returning it. A witness must also sign the envelope and provide their address. The state Elections Commission sent a memo to clerks on Oct. 19, 2020, instructing them how to spoil absentee ballots for voters who wanted to vote in person. The memo also provides guidance on how to handle absentee ballot errors, including missing witness signatures or addresses.  “The witness can appear without the voter to add their signature or address,” the memo states. “Please note that the clerk should attempt to resolve any missing witness address information prior to Election Day if possible, and this can be done through reliable information (personal knowledge, voter registration information, through a phone call with the voter or witness). The witness does not need to appear to add a missing address.”

Full Article: Wisconsin clerks altered ballot information according to guidance

Wisconsin recount? Republicans look for issues, but haven’t found any | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

As Republicans pursue a longshot chance of overturning the presidential results in Wisconsin, they’re focused on absentee voters’ addresses, the state’s residency requirement and a flash drive that was briefly left in a counting machine. With a lead of more than 20,000 votes by President-elect Joe Biden, Republicans would need to find something momentous to shift the state’s results to President Donald Trump. And in the unlikely scenario that Biden loses Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes, he could still claim the presidency because of his victories in other states. Wisconsin Republicans are scrambling to find issues they can raise in the recount Trump has promised to pursue. A recount four years ago resulted in a net change of just 131 votes — nowhere near the number Trump would need to change the results this time. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, on Friday directed a committee to review the election results, saying he wanted it to determine whether there were any irregularities. Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin, on Monday raised the prospect of having the state’s electoral votes go to Trump instead of Biden, depending on how the investigation goes.

Full Article: Wisconsin recount? Republicans look for issues, but haven’t found any

Wisconsin: Ballot clerks asked for help. Lawmakers didn’t act. Disinformation followed | Daphne Chen and Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The wild claims came in thick and fast. The morning after Election Day, President Donald Trump took to Twitter and claimed that people were “finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.” At a press conference in Philadelphia that afternoon, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani repeated the deceptive claim. “In Wisconsin, mysteriously at 4 in the morning, 120,000 ballots appeared,” Giuliani said. “Here come these ballots. Well, we have no idea if they really are ballots.”  Across social media, supporters picked up the narrative. “Between 3:30-4:30AM, they ‘found’ 140,000 mail in ballots for Biden in Wisconsin,” tweeted Nick Adams, a staunch pro-Trump political commentator. He added, falsely: “All for Biden. None for Trump.” His misleading tweet was shared tens of thousands of times.  The false speculation that Biden’s overnight surge in Wisconsin was the result of mass voter fraud caused drama and headaches that could have been headed off years ago, local election clerks say, if Wisconsin lawmakers had listened to them.

Full Article: Clerks asked for help with absentee ballots. Lawmakers didn’t act.

Wisconsin: ‘Absurd and insulting’: Milwaukee officials ridicule Vos’ call for investigation into vote count | Alison Dirr/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ assertion that Milwaukee’s Central Count operation was inefficient is “absurd and insulting,” the city’s top election official said Saturday.  “For the Speaker to separate out Milwaukee and insinuate that our election workers were not part of the well-trained and efficient operations that allowed Wisconsin to have election results in such a timely manner is absurd and insulting,” Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg said in a statement to the Journal Sentinel. “Our Central Count was open, transparent, well-organized and made up of nearly 70 election workers from Representative Vos’s own Republican Party.” She noted media and observers were present to witness the counting, which she called “smooth, accurate and transparent.” The city also livestreamed the operation.

Full Article: Vos’ call for probe of Milwaukee vote counting dismissed as absurd

Wisconsin: With a tight margin, attention turns to a potential recount | Patrick Marley/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin might get recount deja vu. Unofficial tallies showed Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by the thinnest of margins four years after Republican Donald Trump narrowly won it. The lead of some 20,000 votes prompted Trump’s team to say the president would demand a recount. That brought flashbacks of 2016’s recount. If Trump remains behind by less than 1 percentage point once the official tally is completed, he can force a recount. If the margin is larger than that, there’s no chance for one. Before any decision could be made on a recount, the official results need to be finalized over the coming weeks. The recount in 2016 resulted in few changes to the final tally in Wisconsin. That year, Trump won the state by fewer than 23,000 votes out of about 3 million cast. Under the recount rules at the time, Green Party candidate Jill Stein was able to make the recount happen, even though she had received only about 31,000 votes, a tiny sliver of the vote total. Stein’s campaign had to pay about $3.5 million for that recount. In response to the 2016 recount, Republicans who controlled the state at the time changed the law to tighten the recount rules. That put in place the requirement that a losing candidate can demand a recount only when the margin is 1 point or less.

Full Article: With a tight margin in Wisconsin, attention turns to a potential recount

Wisconsin did not ‘find’ 100K ballots around 4 a.m. the morning after the election, or take break from counting votes | Eric Litke and Madeline Heim/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

chart from FiveThirtyEight.com showing how the Wisconsin race changed as results were reported sparked an array of unfounded conspiracy theories. It showed a sharp uptick in Democratic votes at around 4 a.m. on the morning after the election. A conservative website trumpeted this as “Voter Fraud in Wisconsin.” One widely shared Facebook post called it a “ballot dump,” while another referred to the votes as being “found.” President Donald Trump followed the same narrative when he tweeted about 9 a.m. that his lead in key states “started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted.” These claims are ridiculous. This jump was expected and explainable. “We are not finding ballots,” Julietta Henry, director of elections for Milwaukee County, told PolitiFact National. “Ballots are being counted.” The increase in the chart simply shows when the City of Milwaukee reported its absentee ballot results. We knew well before the election that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to vote absentee, that it takes longer to count such ballots, and that Milwaukee is a Democratic stronghold.

Full Article: Wisconsin didn’t find ballots or stop count; voter fraud claims untrue

Wisconsin officials have been preparing to respond to problems on Election Day — but don’t expect there to be any | Laura Schulte Alison Dirr and Sarah Volpenhein/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On the eve of Tuesday’s election, state and local officials sought to assure residents that the voting process is safe and secure — and drive home the message that quick results should not be expected. During a call hosted by the Voter Protection Program on Monday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said so far with early in-person voting and absentee ballots arriving, there have been few issues. He said there has been a lot of communication with law enforcement departments on how to handle situations of intimidation or attempts to make polling places unsafe. “In Wisconsin, if you use force or threaten to use force to prevent someone from voting, or put somebody in a state of duress to prevent them from voting, that’s a felony and anybody who commits that crime should be prepared to be investigated and spend time behind bars,” Kaul said. There is no information leading officials to believe that there are specific physical threats against polling sites, Wisconsin Elections Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe said during a virtual news conference Monday. And officials do not have evidence of disinformation or misinformation campaigns specifically targeting Wisconsin, she said.

Full Article: Wisconsin’s election process is safe and secure, officials tell voters

Wisconsin Faces a Challenge: Getting Out the Vote When Most People Have Already Voted | Reid J. Epstein/The New York Times

As Wisconsin weathers the worst coronavirus outbreak of any presidential battleground, the state Democratic Party is calling and texting voters instead of going door to door. The Biden campaign’s get-out-the-vote effort in the state is all virtual. Stepping into the void to make face-to-face contact with voters are people like Rita Saavedra, who is taking Election Day off from her job as a community relations officer for a local health insurance company so she can drive friends and family members to their polling sites. “I’m reaching out to everybody I know, all the people who haven’t voted yet,” she said. “I’ll even go to the house and get them out of bed.” With early voting over and no time left for a mailed ballot to arrive by the Election Day deadline in Wisconsin, the typically herculean task of reminding voters in person to get to the polls and, in many cases, transporting them there, is being left to an informal group of volunteers like Ms. Saavedra, 43. This is happening as the entire infrastructure of the state Democratic Party and Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign is focused on calling and texting the small universe of would-be supporters who still haven’t voted.

Full Article: Wisconsin Faces a Challenge: Getting Out the Vote When Most People Have Already Voted – The New York Times

Wisconsin Republican Party says hackers stole $2.3 million in campaign funds | Scott Bauer/Associated Press

Hackers have stolen $2.3 million from the Wisconsin Republican Party’s account that was being used to help reelect President Donald Trump in the key battleground state, the party’s chairman told The Associated Press on Thursday. The party noticed the suspicious activity on Oct. 22 and contacted the FBI on Friday, said Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt. Hitt said the FBI is investigating. FBI spokesman Brett Banner said that, per policy, “the FBI is not permitted to confirm or deny an investigation.” The Wisconsin Department of Justice, which has a center focused on cyber crime able to assist if requested, has not been asked to investigate, said spokeswoman Rebecca Ballweg. The alleged hack was discovered less than two weeks before Election Day, as Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden made their final push to win Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes. Trump won the state by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016 and was planning his third visit in seven days on Friday. Biden also planned to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday. Polls have consistently shown a tight race in the state, usually with Biden ahead by single digits and within the margin of error. Hitt said he was not aware of any other state GOP being targeted for a similar hack, but state parties were warned at the Republican National Convention this summer to be on the lookout for cyber attacks.

Full Article: Wisconsin Republican Party says hackers stole $2.3 million