The Trump campaign said Wednesday it is spending $3 million in Wisconsin to file for a partial recount in the state, claiming illegally-altered absentee ballots and illegal advice given by government officials allowed Wisconsin’s voter ID laws to be circumvented.
The campaign is expected to file a petition for a recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties on Wednesday, claiming that the Wisconsin Elections Commission directed Wisconsin municipal clerks to “illegally alter incomplete absentee ballots contrary to Wisconsin law,” and said that clerks were instructed that they could “rely on their own ‘personal knowledge,’ or unspecified ‘lists or databases at his or her disposal’ to add missing information on returned absentee ballots.”
According to Wisconsin law, incomplete absentee ballots may not be counted.
The Trump campaign said Wednesday that clerks issued absentee ballots to voters in Wisconsin without requiring an application, which they say is “in direct conflict with Wisconsin’s absentee voting safeguards.”
The campaign said that these ballots were issued during the two-week in-person absentee voting period, which ran between Oct. 20 and 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,” Jim Troupis, counsel to the Trump campaign, said in a statement. “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 Trump campaign said they transferred $3 million to Wisconsin on Wednesday to cover the estimated cost of the recounts. The Wisconsin Elections Commission confirmed they received a wire transfer from the Trump campaign for $3 million. No petition has been received yet, but the Trump campaign has told WEC staff one will be filed today.
According to the Fox News Decision Desk, President-elect Joe Biden has 49.6% of the vote in Wisconsin, or 1.63 million votes, to President Trump’s 48.9%, or 1.61 million votes.
The intention to file a petition for a recount in the Wisconsin counties comes amid a recount in Georgia. More than 3,000 uncounted ballots turned up in Georgia as the state is conducting an audit of the 2020 presidential election.
The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in several battleground states where Biden led by a razor-thin margin, including Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia. The campaign has claimed instances of illegally counted votes after Election Day, and that poll watchers were blocked from observing counting.
President Trump over the weekend announced that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, would be “spearheading the legal effort to defend our right to free and fair elections,” and announced that Joe diGenova, Victoria Toensing, attorney for Michael Flynn Sidney Powell, and Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis would also participate in the effort.
Trump has not yet conceded, despite Biden gaining more than the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Fox News’ John Roberts, Kellianne Jones and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.