Before Wisconsin Recount Has Even Started, Infighting

Dems, GOPers on Wisconsin Elections Commission squabble in hourslong meeting
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2020 7:45 AM CST
Wis. Recount Starts Friday, but the Fighting Has Already Begun
In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, workers count Milwaukee County ballots on Election Day at Central Count in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash File)

The Trump campaign ponied up $3 million this week to pay for a ballot recount in two heavily Democratic Wisconsin counties. That recount in Milwaukee and Dane Counties won't kick off till Friday, but the partisan squabbling has already started. On Wednesday night, the Wisconsin Elections Commission, made up of three Democrats and three Republicans, held a virtual meeting to talk about how to modify recount procedure to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the friction-filled meeting took more than five hours, and that the clashing was a sign of just how ugly the recount could get. The bickering centered partly on where observers would be located, with Republicans on the commission predicting Dems would use coronavirus safety measures as an excuse to keep observers far from where the recounts were happening.

"If they can figure out a way using the pandemic to ... make it harder to see what's going on ... that wouldn't be out of character because Democrats have been trying to do that for six months," GOP Commissioner Dean Knudson said. It's a remark that got immediate pushback from Democratic Commissioner Mark Thomsen, who retorted that the complaints Trump is making are baseless. Per TMJ4, the commission members also fought over GOP claims that absentee ballots were illegally issued, which left Democratic Chair Ann Jacobs "shocked and offended." "I would be delighted to see this commission actually function," she added in exasperation at one point. Results from the recount need to be in by Dec. 1, which is also when Wisconsin needs to certify its results. Experts don't expect a major shift in the vote count in the state, which Biden won by about 20,500 votes, per CNN. (More Wisconsin stories.)

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