Nov 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign says it will request recount in Wisconsin

Two men sit at a bar in front of TV screens showing an electoral map of the United States

The Whiskey Ranch Bar and Grill in Janesville, Wisconsin on Nov. 3. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Trump campaign on Wednesday said it would "immediately" request a recount in Wisconsin, after the key battleground state appeared to be leaning in Joe Biden's direction. The AP has not yet called this race.

The big picture: The final outcome of the presidential election is down to swing states that are too close to call, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

  • There are still a few thousand votes left to be counted in Wisconsin, mainly from Green Bay, per AP.

Of note: Presidential election recounts "must be requested on the first business day following the canvass," per Ballotpedia. The required margin is 1% for a race with more than 4,000 votes.

What they're saying: “Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be," Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • "There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results."
  • "The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

Reality check: The non-partisan Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on a press call Tuesday evening did not list Wisconsin as a state with significant complaints about voter intimidation or issues at polling places. Some Wisconsin voters were concerned by police presence in Kenosha, La Crosse and Janesville, but the committee is not pursuing litigation based on those reports, spokesperson Ian Weiner said Wednesday.

  • Megan Wolfe, the state's Elections Commission administrator, said in a Wednesday statement: “Wisconsin’s counting and reporting of unofficial results has gone according to law. Our municipal and county clerks have worked tirelessly throughout the night to make sure every valid ballot is counted and reported accurately."
  • Election Commissions staff will be available to assist with "triple-checking the results" on Wednesday, Wolfe said.
  • Long lines were reported in some areas of Wisconsin, including at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex.

Context: Republican officials in the state pushed to require that mail-in ballots arrive by 8 pm on election night to be counted, which the Supreme Court upheld, per the New York Times.

Go deeper