Wisconsin Recount To Begin Today, Rules Unchanged

The Center Square [By Benjamin Yount]-

Clerks in Milwaukee and Madison will start Wisconsin’s presidential recount today, Friday, November 20th, even though there continues to be disagreement over just how it should happen. 

The Wisconsin Elections Commission met for six hours Wednesday night to talk about the recount. 

Former Trump Chief of Staff and former Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus said on Twitter Wednesday the Elections Commission staff called the meeting to try and change how the recount would work. 

“Let’s get this straight. The Trump campaign sent the Wisconsin Election Comm. $3 mill and filed its petition for a recount,” Priebus tweeted. “Then the WEC immediately called a special meeting to change certain recount rules that deal with the issues brought up in the petition? You can’t make this up!”

Wisconsin’s Elections Commission is split with three Democrats and three Republicans. Republican members on Wednesday fought against any procedural changes, while airing their questions about election irregularities in Milwaukee and Madison. 

“I don’t think we can necessarily trust the canvassers of Dane or Milwaukee County,” Republican Elections Commissioner Bob Spindell said during the meeting. “Especially after they reduced 180 polling places to five terrible type voting centers for the April election, which caused all sorts of problems including suppression of the vote.”

That brought claims of “Democrat bashing” from Democratic commissioners. 

“All you keep talking about is, these evil Democrats are going to do something nasty so that these honest, hardworking Republicans aren’t going to be able to see what’s going on. And I’m tired of that,” Commissioner Julie Glancey said. 

Republican commissioners wanted to make sure the president’s observers can actually see the ballots, and that there is clarity about which ballots with problematic addresses will be discarded. There are also questions about voters who claimed to be ‘indefinitely confined’ and were able to skirt around Wisconsin’s voter ID law. 

Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe said it is important that Milwaukee and Madison get this right. 

“The eyes of the world will be on these Wisconsin counties over the next few weeks,” Wolfe said in a statement. “We remain committed to providing information about the process and assisting our county clerks by providing facts on the mechanics of a recount and status updates.”

President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked for a recount in only Milwaukee and Dane counties. They are the state’s two largest counties, and the state’s most Democratic, 

They are also home to most of Wisconsin’s people of color. 

That had Democrats in Milwaukee and Madison claiming racism. 

“Obviously I’m offended that he picks the county and the city that has the highest percentage of African Americans in the state,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday. 

“[Madison] is coincidentally where 74% of the Black population in Wisconsin lives,” Rep-Elect Francesca Hong, D-Madison, said on Twitter Wednesday. “This is the most blatant and racist form of voter suppression. For the Wisconsin GOP to continue congratulating and thanking 45 is sickening. There will be no evidence of voter fraud, only voter suppression.”

The clerks in Milwaukee and Madison will start counting their ballots again today. They are facing a Dec. 1 deadline to finish those counts. 

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