By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
Shortly after the Associated Press announced Vice President Joe Biden as the president-elect and Sen. Kamala Harris as the vice president-elect, President Donald Trump sent Wisconsin a petition and a $3 million payment. The petition asked that the votes be recounted in Milwaukee County and Dane County.
The recount began on Friday, Nov. 20, only pausing for a break on Thanksgiving. Milwaukee County completed its recount on Friday, Nov. 27. Several days later, Gov. Tony Evers signed the Certificate of Ascertainment, which certified that Biden would receive Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes.
Trump filed a lawsuit against Evers and the Wisconsin Election Commission in the Wisconsin Supreme Courts on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The Associated Press reported on Thursday, Dec. 3, that the Wisconsin Supreme Court won’t hear the case and instead ruled that the court must first be heard in the lower courts.
According to the Milwaukee County Election Commission, Biden’s votes increased by 257 for a new total of 317,527 and Trump’s votes increased by 125 for a total of 134,482. In the end, the recount affirmed that Biden received.
“Today I carried out my duty to certify the November 3rd election, and as required by state and federal law, I’ve signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” Evers tweeted on Monday, Nov 30.
According to Spectrum News 1, the suit claimed abuse of absentee voting and illegal activity, which affected ballots. Trump is asking that those ballots, about 221,000 in total, be removed from the final count.
In a tweet, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul wrote, “Democracy doesn’t work that way. No matter how many lawsuits are filed, we’ll keep standing up for Wisconsin voters.”
According to the Journal Sentinel, if any challenges regarding a state’s election results are resolved by Dec. 8 then the results will be accepted. This falls under the federal government’s “safe harbor” law. From there, the Electoral College will meet on Dec. 14 and Congress will count the electoral votes on Jan. 6.
Under Wisconsin law, challenges to election results should be made in circuit court, the Journal Sentinel reported.
In a statement to the Associated Press regarding the recount, Danielle Melfi, the Wisconsin State director for Biden’s campaign, said, “As we have said, the recount only served to reaffirm Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin. The facts are clear: after ballots were counted and counted again, Joe Biden decisively won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes.”
The Wisconsin Supreme Court asked that Evers send a response to the clerk’s office by 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Several media outlets reported the response that Evers’ attorneys filed.
“It is a shocking and outrageous assault on our democracy,” the statement read.
In addition to his lawsuit against Wisconsin, Trump claimed that voter fraud across the nation affected the election results.
Associated Press reported that Attorney General William Barr said that the U.S. Justice Department did not find any evidence of voter fraud.
For now, Wisconsin residents can only wait to see what happens next.