Elections officials say Milwaukee recount will be 'as transparent as humanly possible'

Posted at 9:38 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 23:21:30-05

MILWAUKEE — The presidential recount in Milwaukee County will begin Friday at 9 a.m. inside the Wisconsin Center.

On Thursday, election officials gave the media a look at the set up inside the 188,000 square foot facility. The room is set up with dozens of tables to allow for social distancing. 460,300 ballots from across Milwaukee County will be recounted as part of the process requested and paid for by President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Milwaukee County Clerk George Christienson says they are “just trying to be as transparent as humanly possible in this situation.” He and Julietta Henry, the Milwaukee County Elections Director will oversee the operation. Henry said the ballots were taken from a secure location at the county clerk’s office and brought to the Wisconsin Center with a Sheriff’s Office escort.

“We will have this room secure 24 hours, and that’s very important, so no one can tamper with any of the evidence that’s in here,” Henry said of the locked room where ballots are stored. A sheriff’s deputy stands guard outside the room.

As election workers go over the ballots one by one, observers from both parties will be seated behind a plexiglass barrier and able to watch what is happening. Any discrepancies will be taken before the three-person Board of Canvassers appointed by the County Executive.

“As the only Republican on the commission, if I’m comfortable with it our people need to be comfortable with it,” says board member Rick Bass.

Each of the 18 municipalities has one day to complete their recount, with an extra day allowed in case more time is needed. The City of Milwaukee which has the most ballots to recount will continue to count for the duration of the recount. Christienson hopes to have the recount done by Thanksgiving, but there is additional time if needed.

Members of the public can witness the events inside the convention center. They are required to take a COVID and security screening before going inside. The entire process will also be streamed online. The Trump campaign has also asked for a recount in Dane County.

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