Wisconsin Recount Would Cost Trump Campaign $7.9 Million
The Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) has said Donald Trump is legally allowed to request a recount, but it would cost him an estimated $7,911,396 (£6 million).
In a press release yesterday, November 16, the WEC said the margin between votes for Trump and President-elect Joe Biden sits at 0.62%, within the 1% required by state law to qualify for a recount.
The state also released several documents, including a spreadsheet itemising the total cost of a potential recount.
Megan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief election official, said the state has ‘not received any indication that there will or will not be a recount’.
‘But we want Wisconsin’s voters to know we are ready,’ Wolfe added.
In total, there are 3.2 million ballots that would need to be recounted.
She said the high cost figure can partly be contributed to coronavirus:
These estimates are significantly higher than the actual costs of the 2016 recount, but they take into account factors not present four years ago, including the need for larger spaces to permit public observation and social distancing.
Other costs include security, the higher number of absentee ballots and renting high-speed ballot scanning equipment.
The WEC also provided a potential timeline for a recount. It said Trump must submit his request and payment by 5.00pm on Wednesday, November 18.
Because the margin is more than 0.25%, Trump must prepay the estimated costs of the recount at the time of requesting it, the announcement said.
The following day, November 19, a recount order will be issued. This then starts the 13-day recount clock, subsequently leading to a deadline of December 1.
The WEC said it will be a difficult timeline to navigate, especially as state law does not account for national holidays, such as Thanksgiving.
A request for a recount will be Trump’s latest move in refusing to concede to the election results.
Elsewhere in the country this week, the sitting president filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania in a bid to stop the certification of the results.
Trump’s lawyers argued that voters in Democratic-heavy counties violated the law by allowing voters to fix mail-in ballots that were otherwise going to be disqualified for a technicality.
Republican-heavy counties ‘followed the law and did not provide a notice and cure process, disenfranchising many,’ the lawsuit said.
However, there is no law in the US that prevents counties from helping voters fix a ballot that has a technical insufficiency. Lawyers acting for Trump later dropped a key allegation from their Pennsylvania lawsuit.
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