Dane County completed on Sunday their recount of the votes cast in the November 3 presidential election, which completes the recount requested by President Donald Trump’s campaign in Wisconsin.
The result, former Vice President Joe Biden increased his victory margin in the two counties recounted, Milwaukee and Dane, by 87 votes to a total victory margin of 20,695 votes. The presidential election is expected to be certified Monday at a meeting of the Wisconsin Election Commission.
Despite the claims and even hopes of Trump’s supporters, the recount itself uncovered no vote fraud.
As RightWisconsin reported in its Daily Update newsletter on November 20, the Republican strategy has never been about finding enough votes for Trump to overcome Biden’s margin of victory, the goal of the GOP has been to throw votes out until Trump wins.
As expected, the president is threatening a lawsuit challenging the results of the election.
It is likely that the president’s campaign will attempt to challenge in court votes cast in Dane and Milwaukee Counties: early in-person absentee ballots, absentee ballots with information corrected by the clerks, and absentee ballots cast by those claiming to be “indefinitely confined” and therefore exempt from the voter ID requirement.
In challenging the early in-person absentee ballots, the Trump campaign is claiming voters must fill out the full absentee ballot application in advance in order to vote in-person early. Ironically, this claim by the Trump campaign means that the campaign’s lead attorney Jim Troupis would have voted illegally.
As for the absentee ballot information corrected by the clerks, this has been an established practice in Wisconsin that has been unchallenged and is unlikely to result in any ballots being tossed, as RightWisconsin reported back on November 8.
The “indefinitely confined” exception to the voter ID law was to accommodate senior citizens who are unable to acquire the proper ID to meet the law’s requirement. Dane County Clerk Scot McDonell encouraged people to use the exception during the Covid-19 pandemic, but Republicans stopped McDonell with a victory in the Wisconsin Supreme Court in March. McDonell could not stray from the official interpretation by the Wisconsin Election Commission, which also stated that the definition of indefinite confinement for absentee voting was up to “each individual voter to make based upon their current circumstances,” as long as it wasn’t merely an attempt to circumvent the state’s voter ID law.
The Trump campaign is likely to file lawsuits attempting to throw out over 200,000 ballots, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Friday.
“The Trump campaign is seeking to disqualify 238,420 ballots cast during the Nov. 3 election between Dane and Milwaukee counties, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analysis — an effort that has been unsuccessful so far as part of recounts in both counties but could end up in court,” the newspaper reported.
A separate lawsuit by “the Wisconsin Voters Alliance” asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly is asking for the state’s election results to be thrown out because Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg gave money through charitable organizations to Wisconsin municipalities to increase absentee voter turnout. A lawsuit earlier this year by the group failed to prevent five Wisconsin cities from accepting the grants.
The lawsuit echoes other complaints by the Trump campaign as well, and asks that the election be overturned in Wisconsin and a slate of electors be chosen by the legislature instead.
The tactic of replacing the slate of electors by the legislature managed to get some sympathy from Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin), a GOP member of the state Assembly serving on a committee “investigating” the 2020 election shortly after the “investigation” was announced.
However, Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) made it clear on Twitter on Sunday that the legislature will not be naming their own electors to vote in the Electoral College.
Trump’s campaign has been largely unsuccessful in its legal efforts, mostly putting forward unsubstantiated claims of fraud and conspiracy theories that have been quickly dismissed by the courts.