WAUKESHA — Even before the president’s campaign team suggested a recount in Wisconsin Wednesday, Waukesha County was preparing for a potential challenge to the vote. President Trump’s Campaign Manager Bill Stepien said the campaign believes there were irregularities in the voting process in the Badger State.
In a statement released Wednesday morning before major news outlets called the race in Wisconsin for former Vice President Joe Biden, Stepien said this: “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. 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.”
Wisconsin recount law says that a candidate can request a recount if the vote margin is within 1%, and that candidate would have to pay for it. Waukesha County Clerk Meg Wartman says her county had already found a location to hold a recount when planning ahead for the possibility while looking at tight polling leading up to the election.
Wartman says the county entered into an agreement to use buildings at the Waukesha County Expo Center. She says the space is big enough to fit hundreds of workers, dozens of machines and provide enough space for social distancing.
“When we do a recount all the municipal clerks, all the municipalities, we have to kind of recreate the election. Luckily in Wisconsin, we do have paper ballots so we can run those paper ballots through those tabulating machines,” said Wartman. This would have to take place in all 72 counties across the state.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Megan Wolfe referenced the 2016 presidential election recount undertaken by the state.
“We’ve had a recount before and it showed we have a really good process we have a really good system,” said Wolfe. In 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein asked, and paid for a recount. In the end, the recount did not change the candidates standing.
A recount in Wisconsin could take up to 2 weeks to complete.