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The Wisconsin Elections Commission has decided to go ahead with a recount in two counties in Wisconsin, comprising more than 800,000 votes. The recount was requested by the Trump campaign, and the elections commission met on Wednesday night so deal with how this recount would go ahead, according to the AP.
The Trump campaign will have to pay $3 million for the recount in Wisconsin. There are six people on the commission, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. including two Republicans who were outspoken about their determination to make sure the recount process is fair and transparent.
The lengthy meeting saw Democrats and Republicans arguing over changes to the manual that illustrates the rules with regard to how the recounts should be conducted. The order that was issued, verifying that the recounts would go forward, did not ultimately include reference to the manual that was at issue.
On the table before the commission, whose meeting was streamed live, were concerns over changes that would limit observance of the recount due to public health concerns. These were changes that would have gone into effect after the recount was requested.
Absentee ballot applications will also be reviewed as part of the recount, to make sure that those requests line up with actual ballots cast, and that no one was either turned away because they were told they had voted by mail when they had not, or that ballots were sent to people who did not request them.
Ann Jacobs, board chair, did not believe that the Trump campaign’s request for a recount was based in fact. She said that his allegations that voters who did not ask for absentee ballots received them was “absurd,” “factually bizarre” and a “vague, paranoid conspiracy.”
“What we ought not be doing is watering that plant of baloney,” Jacobs said.
Dean Knudson and Bob Spindell, two Republican commissioners on the board, had concerns that observers to the recount would be blocked due to the injection of a clause about their being restrictions on observation due to a public health crisis.
Spindell and Knudson had concerns about the voting machines in Wisconsin as well, and cyber-security.
Knudson spoke out as well, saying that the staff proposals do not supercede the decisions of the election board with regard to changes being made to the manual. He refused to allow changes to be pushed through and rubber-stamped by the board without input.
“In the state of Wisconsin, you can cast an absentee ballot without showing voter ID. Last election, 72,000 people did that. This election 240,000 people did that, presumably using Covid and fears of Covid as an excuse. It was a way to circumvent voter ID,” Kayleigh McEnany said on Sean Hannity Wednesday night.
“We alleged that we need to see the absentee voter applications because it’s an important aspect of Wisconsin law and they weren’t doing this they were just giving people ballots. And as we speak right now, you have the election board trying to change the way the recount laws work to make sure we’re not able to count to those applications for absentee ballots.”
The recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties will begin on Friday, and should be finished by Dec. 1.