clearn.png
Monday January 18th, 2021 6:05AM

Wisconsin recount: Masks, plexiglass and lots of ballots

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin on Friday will begin recounts of the presidential race in the state's two biggest and most Democratic counties. It's a longshot bid by President Donald Trump — who paid a required $3 million fee — to undo Joe Biden's victory. Trump, who lost by more than 20,600 votes in Wisconsin, has alleged “mistakes and fraud” in the two counties, though he has produced no evidence to back up his claims.

Some things to know about the recount:

WHY THESE TWO COUNTIES?

Biden's victory over Trump was fueled by Democrat-heavy Milwaukee and Dane counties, making them ripe targets for Trump to try and discount votes. The counties are home to Milwaukee, the state's most racially diverse city, and Madison, the state Capitol and location of the University of Wisconsin's flagship campus. Combined, Biden won the counties by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

WILL THE RECOUNT BE SAFE?

The recount will bring together hundreds of people at a time when the coronavirus is ravaging Wisconsin, which has been one of the nation's worst COVID-19 hot spots for weeks. One in every 118 people in Wisconsin has tested positive in the past week. To help reduce the risk, both counties are renting convention centers so that workers and observers can be properly distanced. In Milwaukee, where the recount will be conducted at the 186,000-square-foot Wisconsin Center, everyone inside will be required to wear a mask, pass a temperature screening and maintain appropriate social distancing. Anyone not following those requirements will be ejected.

The recounts must be finished by a Dec. 1 deadline. Milwaukee County expects to be finished the day before Thanksgiving, an event widely expected to hasten the spread of the virus. Dane County is planning 16-hour days and wasn't expected to finish before the holiday. Both plan to use machines to recount the ballots, although Dane County says it will do some hand-counting from randomly selected precincts for an audit, as required by law.

WHO DOES THE RECOUNT?

Both county clerks are Democrats and are in charge of the recounts. They are bringing in many of the same poll workers who counted the ballots on Election Day to process the recount. In Milwaukee, workers will be arranged in two-table “pods,” with one worker at each table, and up to three observers allowed at each pod. The observers must stay 6 feet away, and plexiglass barriers will provide added protection. Four sheriff's deputies will provide security 24 hours a day until the recount is completed.

WHO CAN WATCH? AND WHAT ABOUT CHALLENGES?

Citizens can watch in person, although Dane County wasn't immediately sure how many would be allowed in because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both counties said safety would be a priority; in Milwaukee County, on-site observers will have to go through security and a temperature check, and will have to wear masks.

Both counties also plan livestreams; Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said $400,000 was being spent on audiovisual equipment to make sure the recount is transparent.

As for challenges, representatives of both campaigns must be allowed to observe and challenge ballots, although they must “provide offers of evidence” to justify them. Disputed ballots are set aside to be considered by the canvassing board. Observers can also challenge the makeup of the board of canvassers and the procedures being followed.

WILL THIS CHANGE THINGS?

Not likely. Wisconsin's 2016 recount, which was statewide and was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, barely moved the needle on any candidate's totals, netting Trump an additional 131 votes.

More broadly, there's no precedent of a recount changing the outcome of an election in which the margin between the top two candidates is as large as the one Biden holds over Trump.

There have been at least 31 recounts in statewide elections in the U.S. since the most famous one in Florida’s presidential election in 2000. The recounts changed the outcome of three races. All three were decided by hundreds of votes, not thousands.

Of those 31 recounts, the largest change in the margin between the top two candidates was 0.1 percentage point, which happened in the 2006 race for Vermont’s auditor of accounts. The average shift in the margin between the top two candidates — whether the margin increased or decreased — was 0.019 percentage points.

Biden leads Trump by about 0.6 of a percentage point.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT'S OVER?

Once the recount is complete, the chair of the Wisconsin Elections Commission is charged with certifying the results by Dec. 1. But a lot can happen before then, including expected legal challenges. Trump's legal challenges in other states have been unsuccessful, but Republican supporters in Wisconsin have hopes that he may fare better before the state's conservative-controlled Supreme Court.

___

Glass reported from Minneapolis.

  • 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, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Political Conventions
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Georgia Secretary of State to certify election for Biden
Georgia’s top elections official said he will certify that Joe Biden won the state’s presidential election
9:24AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Wisconsin recount: Masks, plexiglass and lots of ballots
Wisconsin's election recount gets underway on Friday with scores of workers, high-speed ballot processing machines and lots of plexiglass
9:08AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Pfizer seeking emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in US
Pfizer is set to ask U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting a process that could bring first shots as early as next month
8:56AM ( 34 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Owl found in Rockefeller Center tree could take flight soon
A tiny owl that was found dehydrated and hungry in the branches of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is eating its way back to good health and set to be released back into the wild Saturday
9:23AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Ladies' night at Latin Grammys: Lafourcade, Rosalía win big
A year after Rosalía made history by becoming the first solo female performer in 13 years to win the top prize at the Latin Grammys, Natalia Lafourcade followed in her footsteps with a big win at the 2020 show
9:05AM ( 25 minutes ago )
APEC leaders, including Trump, begin virtual meeting
Leaders from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have begun a virtual meeting to seek ways to revive their coronavirus-battered economies, with U.S. President Donald Trump participating for the first time since 2017
9:03AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Death toll at 37 in Uganda unrest after Bobi Wine's arrest
The death toll from protests over the arrest of Ugandan opposition presidential hopeful and musician Bobi Wine has risen to 37, police said Friday
7:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
Burkina Faso to vote amid escalating violence
Burkina Faso citizens will vote in presidential and legislative elections on Sunday, amid escalating extremist violence that’s killed more than 2,000 people this year and displaced some one million people from their homes
7:25AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump, allies make frantic steps to overturn Biden's victory
President Donald Trump and his allies are taking increasingly frantic steps to subvert the results of the 2020 election, including summoning state legislators to the White House as part of a longshot bid to overturn Joe Biden’s victory
6:26AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: House Democrats protest GSA delay in transition
House Democrats are asking a Trump administration official for an immediate briefing to explain why she has not launched the transition process for President-elect Joe Biden
8:11PM ( 13 hours ago )
Georgia presidential hand tally done; affirms Biden lead
A top Georgia election official says a hand tally of the ballots cast in the presidential race has been completed, and that the results affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow lead over Republican President Donald Trump
7:24PM ( 14 hours ago )
Georgia official: Vote audit over; Biden still leads Trump
A top Georgia elections official says a hand tally of the presidential race in Georgia is complete, and the results affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s lead over Republican President Donald Trump
7:16PM ( 14 hours ago )
General Election News
Biden reaches out to governors as Trump stymies transition
Joe Biden’s meeting Thursday with a group of Democratic and Republican governors is his latest attempt to fight through President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to block the president-elect’s transition to power
11:10AM ( 22 hours ago )
Death toll now 16 in Uganda's unrest after Bobi Wine arrest
Police say the death toll from protests over the latest arrest of Ugandan opposition presidential hopeful and musician Bobi Wine has risen to 16 amid a second day of demonstrations
10:48AM ( 22 hours ago )
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 ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
House Dems nominate Pelosi as speaker to lead into Biden era
House Democrats have nominated Nancy Pelosi for two more years as speaker
1:49PM ( 1 day ago )
Pelosi moves toward leading divided House Dems 2 more years
House Democrats seem certain to nominate Nancy Pelosi for two more years as speaker
12:09AM ( 2 days ago )
Trump attacks Vegas-area certification of Biden election win
As officials in Nevada certified results of the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday with a new attack on the vote that gave Democratic candidate Joe Biden a 33,596-vote statewide victory
9:54PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Georgia Secretary of State to certify election for Biden
Georgia’s top elections official said he will certify that Joe Biden won the state’s presidential election
9:24AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Pfizer seeking emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in US
Pfizer is set to ask U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting a process that could bring first shots as early as next month
8:56AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Wisconsin recount: Masks, plexiglas and lots of ballots
Wisconsin's election recount gets underway on Friday with scores of workers, high-speed ballot processing machines and lots of plexiglas
8:15AM ( 1 hour ago )
US government executes man convicted of killing Texas teen
The U.S. government has executed a man who kidnapped and raped a 16-year-old Texas girl before dousing her with gasoline and burying her alive
1:25AM ( 8 hours ago )
Criminal probe, legal fights await Trump after White House
President Donald Trump’s legal entanglements are likely to intensify when he leaves the White House and loses immunity from prosecution
1:01AM ( 8 hours ago )