Trump campaign files for Wisconsin recount, deposits $3 million to challenge Biden victory

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s reelec­tion cam­paign on Wednes­day said it will file for a par­tial recount in Wis­con­sin to chal­lenge Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden’s vic­to­ry in the state.

The announce­ment came after Wis­con­sin elec­tion offi­cials con­firmed that the Trump cam­paign wired $3 mil­lion there ahead of the 5 p.m. dead­line to file for a recount.

Trump’s cam­paign said in a state­ment that it will peti­tion to recount the bal­lots in two coun­ties, Mil­wau­kee and Dane. The cam­paign claimed “ille­gal” vot­ing activ­i­ty was car­ried out by Wis­con­sin elec­tion offi­cials, with­out pro­vid­ing evi­dence of any wide­spread prob­lems that could upend Biden’s more than 20,000-vote lead.

The Trump cam­paign has not yet filed any recount peti­tion, Wis­con­sin Elec­tions Com­mis­sion spokesman Reid Mag­ney said in a state­ment ear­li­er Wednesday.

The recount would have to be com­plet­ed before the chair of the state’s elec­tions com­mis­sion cer­ti­fies the results on Dec. 1.

Biden leads Trump by more than 20,000 votes in Wis­con­sin, with an edge of 49.5% of the bal­lots cast, com­pared to 48.8% for the Repub­li­can incum­bent. Trump had won the state in 2016 by less than 1 per­cent­age point over Hillary Clinton.

The Wis­con­sin Elec­tions Com­mis­sion on Tues­day received vote results from all 72 of the state’s coun­ties, giv­ing the Trump cam­paign until 5 p.m. Wednes­day to file for a recount.

NBC News pro­ject­ed Biden would win the state on Nov. 4, less than a day after elec­tion night results began rolling in.

In its state­ment Wednes­day, Trump’s cam­paign claimed that absen­tee bal­lots were “ille­gal­ly altered,” and “ille­gal­ly issued” by elec­tions offi­cials, who also alleged­ly offered “ille­gal advice” to voters.

“These two coun­ties were select­ed because they are the loca­tions of the worst irreg­u­lar­i­ties,” the cam­paign said.

“The peo­ple of Wis­con­sin deserve to know whether their elec­tion process­es worked in a legal and trans­par­ent way. Regret­tably, the integri­ty of the elec­tion results can­not be trust­ed with­out a recount in these two coun­ties and uni­form enforce­ment of Wis­con­sin absen­tee bal­lot require­ments. We will not know the true results of the elec­tion until only the legal bal­lots cast are count­ed,” said Jim Troupis, coun­sel to the campaign.

“We will not stop fight­ing for trans­paren­cy and integri­ty in our elec­toral process to ensure that all Amer­i­cans can trust the results of a free and fair elec­tion in Wis­con­sin and across the coun­try,” Troupis said.

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