MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Elections Commission issued an order Thursday to recount more than 800,000 ballots cast in two heavily liberal counties at President Donald Trump’s request.
The order, required by law after Trump paid $3 million for the recount, was agreed to after rancorous debate for more than five hours Wednesday night that foreshadows the partisan battle ahead.
“It’s just remarkable the six of us in a civilized fashion can’t agree to this stuff,” Democratic commissioner Mark Thomsen said hours into the debate. The commission is split 3–3 between Democrats and Republicans.
The recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties, where Joe Biden outpolled Trump by a more than 2‑to‑1 margin, will begin Friday and must be done by Dec. 1. Biden won statewide by 20,608 votes. Trump’s campaign has cited “irregularities” in the counties, although no evidence of illegal activity has been presented.