Trump campaign files partial Wisconsin recount, along with $3 million payment

A full statewide recount would cost nearly $8 million.


President Donald Trump has filed for a partial ballot recount in Wisconsin.

The campaign said it wants votes recounted in Milwaukee and Dane counties.

A recount was not requested in any other counties.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said it received a wire transfer Tuesday evening from the Trump campaign for $3 million.

The deadline to file for a recount in Wisconsin was 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The formal petition was filed in-person just before 11 a.m. and appeared to meet all of the requirements needed.

"We understand the eyes of the world will be on these Wisconsin counties over the next few weeks," Commission Executive Director Meagan Wolfe said in a news release. "We remain committed to providing information about the process and assisting our county clerks by providing facts on the mechanics of a recount and status updates."

Milwaukee County's recount will cost an estimated $2 million and take place at the Wisconsin Center.

Dane County's recount was expected to cost about $740,000.

Trump's campaign claimed without evidence that absentee ballots were illegally altered, illegally issued absentee ballots or given illegal advice on Wisconsin's voter ID law.

"These two counties were selected because they are the locations of the worst irregularities," the campaign said in a statement.

The president's team claimed the Wisconsin Elections Commission directed municipal clerks to illegally alter incomplete absentee ballots.

Clerks were instructed that they could rely on their own "personal knowledge," or unspecified "lists or databases at his or her disposal" to add in missing information on returned absentee ballots, according to the Trump campaign.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said clerks cured some questionable ballots according to state law.

Trump also claimed clerks issued absentee ballots to voters without requiring an application.

The recount calls into question ballots cast during the early in-person voting window of Oct. 20 to Nov. 1.

"The people of Wisconsin deserve to know whether their election processes worked in a legal and transparent way. 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," said Jim Troupis, counsel to the campaign. "We will not stop fighting for transparency and integrity in our electoral process to ensure that all Americans can trust the results of a free and fair election in Wisconsin and across the country."

The recount process will begin Thursday and must be completed by Dec. 1 at noon.

After Wisconsin completed its vote canvass Monday, President-elect Joe Biden leads Trump by 20,600 votes.

Biden won Milwaukee County by nearly 183,000 votes and Dane County by more than 181,300 votes.

A full statewide recount would have cost Trump nearly $8 million.

The commission will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss details of the recount.