'I've Had It!' The Wisconsin Recount Gets Ugly

At least 2 Trump observers are escorted out
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2020 2:30 PM CST
The Recount Gets Ugly in Wisconsin
Recount observers listen to Election Commissioner Tim Posnanski speech during a Milwaukee hand recount of Presidential votes at the Wisconsin Center, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wis.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Wisconsin recount observer Ardis Cerny stretched her neck as far as she could toward a Plexiglas divider separating her from two vote counters, eagle-eyeing them as they scrutinized ballot papers one by one. When one tabulator told the ardent supporter of President Trump she was leaning too far over a yellow line on a Milwaukee conference-hall floor meant to keep observers 3 feet away, Cerny bristled. "I know you don’t want us to see the ballots," she said, per the AP. "You think we’ll find something." Cerny is part of a large contingent of pro-Trump observers participating in a recount the president requested and paid $3 million for in the state's two biggest and most liberal counties, Milwaukee and Dane, in a bid to erase Joe Biden's more than 20,000-vote lead after the initial count.

With no precedent to erase such a large margin, it's widely expected that Trump's eventual plan in Wisconsin is litigation over thousands of absentee ballots that he argues were improperly cast. But his recount observers are still trying. The atmosphere inside the convention hall has turned acrimonious and chaotic at times. At least two Trump observers have been escorted out for their behavior. At one point, when too many people gathered around one table, violating social distancing rules, a Republican official shouted, "I've had it! Clear this floor now!" In another case, a Trump challenge sought to disqualify mail-in ballots after official stickers became unstuck on envelopes. "Some of the stuff we're getting into is ridiculous," said Tim Posnanski, who heads a commission overseeing the recount.

(More Election 2020 stories.)

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