fair.png
Saturday July 24th, 2021 4:49PM

Wisconsin recount cleared to begin after partisan fight

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to issue an order to recount ballots in two heavily liberal counties at President Donald Trump's request, but only after hours of contentious debate that may foreshadow the partisan battle ahead.

Trump paid the $3 million required for the recount and issuing the order was expected to be a pro forma move, but it took six hours for the commission — split 3-3 along party lines — to agree on the order late Wednesday.

“It’s just remarkable the six of us in a civilized fashion can’t agree to this stuff,” Democratic commissioner Mark Thomsen said hours into the debate.

The recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties, where Joe Biden outpolled Trump by a more than 2-to-1 margin, will begin Friday and must be done by Dec. 1. Biden won statewide by 20,608 votes. Trump’s campaign has cited “irregularities” in the counties, although no evidence of illegal activity has been presented.

The commission argued over changes to its manual that provides guidance to local elections officials over how to conduct recounts. Ultimately, they decided not to reference the manual in the order, but they did update some parts to reflect accommodations for the coronavirus pandemic.

The commissioners deadlocked on making changes to the manual that Democrats and elections commission staff said would bring the guidance into line with current state law. Republicans balked, saying the guidelines should not be changed after Trump filed for the recount.

Their inability to agree leaves in place guidance that says absentee ballot applications must be approved as part of the recount, even though commission staff said that’s not required under the law.

Democratic commissioners said they were certain the recount was headed to court even though Trump’s claims were without merit.

Board Chair Ann Jacobs, a Democrat, said Trump’s allegation that election clerks mailed thousands of absentee ballots to voters who hadn’t requested them was “absurd,” “factually bizarre” and a “vague, paranoid conspiracy.”

“What we ought not be doing is watering that plant of baloney,” she said.

Republican commissioners Dean Knudson and Bob Spindell questioned whether election observers would be treated fairly by Democratic county clerks in Milwaukee and Madison. At one point, Knudson even appeared to question whether absentee ballots requested through the elections commission’s state website were invalid because of how the requests are recorded.

“I hope we haven’t created a system at WEC that entices people to request a ballot that actually isn’t in keeping with the law,” he said.

Knudson, a former state lawmaker, has been on the commission since 2017 and like many office holders in Wisconsin encouraged voters to sign up for absentee ballots on the website. In August, he tweeted a link to the site along with the exhortation to “request absentee ballot now.”

Democrats dismissed Knudson’s concerns as outlandish, noting that the system has been in place unchallenged for years.

Thomsen said Trump was challenging the validity of the election only because he lost, but he had no problem with Wisconsin’s election rules in 2016 when he won by fewer than 23,000 votes.

Milwaukee County is the state’s largest, home to the city of Milwaukee, and Black people make up about 27% of the population, more than any other county. Dane County is home to the liberal capital city of Madison and the flagship University of Wisconsin campus.

The disputes at the commission had echoes of what happened in Michigan on Tuesday. Republicans on a canvassing board for the county that includes Detroit temporarily stopped certification of the vote after claiming that poll books in certain parts of the majority-Black city were out of balance. The deadlock brought claims of racism from Democrats before the board later voted unanimously to certify the results. The Republicans are now trying to rescind their votes.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Wisconsin recount cleared to begin after partisan fight
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has agreed to issue an order to recount ballots cast in two heavily Democratic counties, but only after hours of partisan squabbling
9:56AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Heading into holidays, US COVID-19 testing strained again
More people are waiting for hours in long lines to get tested for the coronavirus, as cases surge nationwide and families hope to gather safely for the holidays
9:50AM ( 31 minutes ago )
GOP canvassers again oppose certifying Detroit-area votes
Two Michigan Republicans who initially blocked certification of election results for the county that includes Detroit despite no evidence of fraud before approving them now say they want to rescind their certification
9:41AM ( 40 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Mazda No. 1 in Consumer Reports 2020 auto reliability survey
Mazda beat traditional winners Lexus and Toyota to win top honors as the most dependable auto brand in Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey
10:00AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Brexit trade talks suspended because of COVID-19 case
The Brexit trade negotiations have been suspended at a crucial stage because an EU negotiator has tested positive for the coronavirus
9:56AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Pandemic upends plans, lives of renowned Cuban musicians
Renowned Cuban musicians are turning to the internet or seeking other jobs to survive a pandemic that has shuttered businesses across the island, which only days ago reopened its airport to visitors after a nearly eight-month lockdown
9:55AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump targets vote certification in late bid to block Biden
President Donald Trump’s scattershot effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is shifting toward obscure election boards that certify the vote count
8:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
WHO warns of deadly second wave of virus across Middle East
The World Health Organization's chief for the Middle East is warning that as winter nears and coronavirus cases surge to new heights across the region, the only way to avoid mass death is for countries to move swiftly and decisively to tighten restrictions and enforce preventative measures
8:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
African continent hits 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases
Africa has surpassed 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases as the continent's top public health official warns that “we are inevitably edging toward a second wave” of infections
8:09AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
'Tired to the bone': Hospitals overwhelmed with virus cases
Conditions inside the nation’s hospitals are deteriorating by the day as the coronavirus rages through the country at an unrelenting pace
11:28PM ( 10 hours ago )
US drops case against ex-Mexican general after pressure
U.S. prosecutors have formally dropped a drug trafficking and money laundering case against a former Mexican defense secretary
9:44PM ( 12 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: How does election certification usually work?
In normal times, the certification of election results is a routine process that doesn’t get much attention
9:18PM ( 13 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Justice Dept.'s China focus likely to continue under Biden
President Donald Trump has identified China as the country’s biggest foe
7:23AM ( 2 hours ago )
Too soon? Georgia draws next class of White House hopefuls
Twin Senate runoffs in Georgia are first and foremost about who will control the Senate for the opening of President-elect Joe Biden’s Democratic administration
7:02AM ( 3 hours ago )
Prince William welcomes new probe into 1995 Diana interview
Prince William has “tentatively welcomed” an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding a controversial 1995 BBC interview with his mother, Princess Diana
6:45AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Death toll up to 7 in Uganda's unrest after Bobi Wine arrest
The death toll from protests over the arrest of Ugandan opposition presidential hopeful and musician Bobi Wine has risen to seven, police said Thursday, as a second day of demonstrations began
4:51AM ( 5 hours ago )
Trump influence seen in deadlock of Michigan election board
President Donald Trump's efforts to sow doubt about the election seem to have played a role in a move by two Michigan Republicans to block certification of election results from Detroit
8:53PM ( 13 hours ago )
Trump-friendly Newsmax seeks to cut into Fox’s viewership
The Trump-friendly network Newsmax saw its viewership explode after the election, helped by fans of the president who were apparently miffed at Fox News Channel
6:35PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Elections
Trump pays $3 million for recount of 2 Wisconsin counties
President Donald Trump's campaign has paid $3 million for a recount of two heavily Democratic Wisconsin counties, saying that they were the site of the “worst irregularities.”
1:24PM ( 20 hours ago )
Trump-friendly Newsmax a sudden competitor to Fox News
The Trump-friendly network Newsmax saw its viewership explode after the election, helped by fans of the president who were apparently miffed at Fox News Channel
1:19PM ( 21 hours ago )
Controversial Fed nominee Shelton stalls in Senate test vote
President Donald Trump's controversial nominee to the Federal Reserve has stalled in the Senate after Vice President-elect Kamala Harris returned to the chamber to cast a key vote
12:05PM ( 22 hours ago )
General Election News
Heading into holidays, US COVID-19 testing strained again
More people are waiting for hours in long lines to get tested for the coronavirus, as cases surge nationwide and families hope to gather safely for the holidays
9:43AM ( 40 minutes ago )
GOP canvassers again oppose certifying Detroit-area votes
Two Michigan Republicans who initially blocked certification of election results for the county that includes Detroit despite no evidence of fraud before approving them now say they want to rescind their certification
9:41AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Federal inmate who killed Texas teenager set to be executed
A man convicted of kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old Texas girl, then bludgeoning her with a shovel before burying her alive, is scheduled to be put to death
6:52AM ( 3 hours ago )
Will social distancing weaken my immune system?
Health experts say you don't need to worry that social distancing is weakening your immune system
3:06AM ( 7 hours ago )
Wolves select Edwards with No. 1 pick in delayed NBA draft
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Georgia freshman guard Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 pick in the delayed NBA draft
3:03AM ( 7 hours ago )