Trump Ponies Up For Recount In Wisconsin, But Only The Black Parts

The Trump racists are at it again.

Today was the Trump campaign's deadline to pony up $7.9 million if it wanted a recount in Wisconsin. Trump and his bois must be running low on grifting cash, because instead they're opting to pay $3 million to recount the votes in just two counties. The counties Team Trump is going after are Milwaukee and Dane, which gave Biden 35 percent of the votes he received in the state. They also just so happen to be home to three-quarters of Wisconsin's Black population.

Uh huh.

Absolutely no one expects a recount to change the outcome in Wisconsin. And even if a magic genie appeared and changed all of the Biden votes into Trump votes, a Trump win in Wisconsin would NOT change the election.

As Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias tweeted,

Biden won Wisconsin by 20,608 votes. For context, Jill Stein's 2016 Wisconsin recount resulted in a net change of 131 votes. And Trump would need to overturn not only the results in Wisconsin, but also the results in Pennsylvania and/or several other states, to beat Biden.

And there's also the fact that administrative errors in counting votes have never affected the final results of an election.

But grifters gonna grift and the Trump campaign paid Wisconsin $3 million Wednesday morning to fund the partial recount. (We hope for the taxpayers of Wisconsin that they did not pay via check.) The Trump campaign says it will be filing a petition later today to officially seek the recount.

After Jill Stein's 2016 fiasco, Republicans in the state legislature changed the recount law so that only candidates who lost by 1 percentage point or less can request a recount. If the margin is less than 0.25 points, the state covers the cost. If the margin is more, the losing candidate has to pay. Trump lost by about 0.6 points, so he is the one who has to pay.

It hasn't gone unnoticed that Trump is only targeting the votes in the state's two Blackest counties. As Representative-elect Francesca Hong noted,

Former Dane County Judge Jim Troupis — who we should all be happy is no longer a judge — is representing Team Trump in the recount effort. He says:

"The people of Wisconsin deserve to know whether their election processes worked in a legal and transparent way," said Wisconsin attorney Jim Troupis, who is working with the Trump campaign. "Regrettably, the integrity of the election results cannot be trusted without a recount in these two counties and uniform enforcement of Wisconsin absentee ballot requirements. We will not know the true results of the election until only the legal ballots cast are counted."

A few problems with this.

Not only have there been no credible reports of illegal activity, but in the official county canvasses, Biden picked up even more votes. In Milwaukee County's final canvass, Biden beat Trump 317,270 votes to 134,357. The county canvas netted Biden 19 more votes and Trump two. And in Dane County, Biden beat Trump by a margin of 260,185 to 78,800. The county canvass resulted in 28 more Biden votes and 11 more Trump votes.

But there's nothing Republicans love more than infringing upon fundamental rights, so they've come up with lots of of fun ideas for throwing out votes. Among the things that the GOP has whined about are:

  • "Democracy in the Park" events in Madison, where poll workers accepted absentee ballots;
  • Clerks filling out witness address information on absentee ballot envelopes when witnesses forgot to list it themselves (a practice that has been going on for four years, based on guidance written by Republican members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission);
  • Voters marking themselves as "indefinitely confined" on their absentee ballots, in response to the ongoing pandemic; and
  • Biden winning.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonnell has said that he expects Biden to continue to pick up more votes in the recount of his overwhelmingly blue county.

Sometimes votes that aren't counted on Election Day get added to the totals in a recount, such as when someone voted for a candidate and also wrote in that same candidate's name on the ballot, he said.

He also says he hasn't seen any major issues with the vote count, noting that, "This was a really clean election from our point of view."

If the Wisconsin Elections Commission officially orders the recount on Wednesday or Thursday, both counties plan to begin counting ballots by Friday. The count is expected to last until the deadline to certify the recount on December 1. Both county clerks have found locations big enough for the several hundred poll workers to socially distance.

The recount will be done by poll workers running ballots through high-speed scanners. Observers from both the Trump and Biden campaigns will be able to challenge ballots they don't think should be counted. Those challenges will be decided by the county's Board of Canvassers.

As Democratic member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission Mark Thomsen said, Trump's request for a recount in only the state's two Blackest, most liberal counties, is like

"losing the Super Bowl and then saying 'I want a review of a certain play using different rules than what applied to the rest of the game.' That is the essence of hypocrisy and cheating and dishonesty."

Good thing Trump has never mocked futile recounts in the past.

There really is a tweet for everything.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / AP]

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Jamie Lynn Crofts
Jamie Lynn Crofts is sick of your bullshit. When she’s not wrangling cats, she’s probably writing about nerdy legal stuff, rocking out at karaoke, or tweeting about god knows what. Jamie would kindly like to remind everyone that it’s perfectly legal to tell Bob Murray to eat shit.

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