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Elections Comm. gets the ball rolling on the recount

Commissioners unanimously approved the recount order
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 10:03 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:55 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Elections Commission officially issued the order Thursday that begins the partial recount process for Dane Co. and Milwaukee Co.

The move comes after commissioners met late into the night Wednesday to consider the request from President Donald Trump’s campaign and review any possible changes to the state’s Recount Manual.

The order was approved unanimously by the six-member bipartisan commission. The Trump campaign wired the state $3 million early Wednesday to pay for the recount.

“We understand the eyes of the world will be on these Wisconsin counties over the next few weeks,” WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe said Wednesday. “We remain committed to providing information about the process and assisting our county clerks by providing facts on the mechanics of a recount and status updates.”

During Wednesday night’s session, commissioners signed off on changes that are designed to make it easier for presidential campaigns to access the ballots and other materials during the process. According to the WEC statement, that portion of the manual now reads:

“…it is clear that the ballots and materials must be available for candidates and their representatives to view and offer any objections to a ballot being counted.”

WEC Recount Manual

Changes were also made to public health section of the Manual in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the WEC noted. Commissioners also unanimously approved a three-page memorandum containing more public health guidance. The WEC plans to post the revised Recount Manual on its website soon.

The Dane Co. recount will take place at Monona Terrace, while elections officials in Milwaukee Co. will gather at the Wisconsin Center. Their respective Board of Canvassers will issue public notices for start times and meeting times, the WEC explained. (See full timeline)

Dane County Clerk Scot McDonell detailed that their office spent the day inside Monona Terrace to figure out the best layout to accommodate everyone.

The clerk said everyone will have the ability to see this process through.

“There’s really no point in having a recount if it can’t be observed, so that is important to me and I think that is the spirit of our process,” McDonell said.

McDonell said they will begin counting the ballots on Saturday after a public test of the election equipment. He expressed they will most likely need the full amount of time allotted to get things done.

The recount must be completed by noon on December 1.

The whole process in Dane County will be live-streamed.

As it stands, official election numbers from the Wisconsin Elections Commission for the two counties include:

Dane CoMilwaukee Co.
Pres.-elect Joe Biden260,185317,270
President Donald Trump78,800134,357

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