President Donald Trump’s own party made it more difficult for candidates to get a recount in Wisconsin and Michigan in the aftermath of his 2016 Electoral College win.
The Trump campaign announced Wednesday that it would pursue a recount in Wisconsin, where Democrat Joe Biden was around 21,000 votes ahead.
CNN called Wisconsin for Biden around 2 p.m. Wednesday.
‘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’s campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement. ‘The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.’
Democrat Joe Biden’s (left) and President Donald Trump’s (right) campaigns both saw paths to victory Wednesday, though Trump’s campaign believed theirs went through a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden leads
President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien (left) announced Wednesday that the Trump campaign would pursue a recount in Wisconsin. Republiicans made it more difficult to get a recount in Wisconsin and Michigan after Trump’s narrow 2016 wins
Voter lists’ books are on display in Kenosha, Wisconsin. President Donald Trump’s campaign said they will push for a recount in Wisconsin, which could open up a path to victory for the Republican
Earlier Stepien hinted this would be the Trump campaign’s move, telling reporters that the president path to victory includes a recount in Wisconsin and additional Trump votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania, with the Keystone State breaking for the president by greater margins than expected.
Results in Nevada are still being tallied, while the race in Georgia and North Carolina hasn’t been called, though Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon conceded that North Carolina was looking better for Trump.
In Wisconsin, a losing candidate can ask for a recount if the margin stays within 1 per cent, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Republicans had tightened the Badger State’s recount rules after Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in 2016, forced a recount then, despite only winning around 31,000 votes.
The recount amounted to few changes, with Trump winning the state by fewer than 23,000 votes.
Overall, about 3 million were cast.
Stein’s campaign had to pay for the recount too – at a cost of about $3.5 million.
If the difference between Biden and Trump remains under 1 per cent – it stood at .63 per cent mid-morning Wednesday – Trump will be able to request said recount and must do so by 5 p.m. on the first business day following the vote canvass.
Trump will have to pay for the recount if the margin remains larger than .25 per cent, but his money will be refunded if the winner flips.
If the Trump campaign’s recount request were to be granted, it would need to be completed within 13 days.
‘It looks like Wisconsin will be close enough so that if Trump forces want to have a recount there they can, although not nearly close enough to make a recount likely to succeed,’ lawyer Paul Smith of the Campaign Legal Center said on a press call for the National Election Task Force.
In Michigan, a recount is triggered if candidates are within 2,000 votes from each other.
Before noon on Wednesday, Biden was leading by more than 32,000 votes. About 100,000 votes needed to still be counted.
Still, the Trump campaign could pay for a recount, as the law – which was also revised after Stein tried to force a Michigan recount in 2016 – allows for one if the losing candidate has a reasonable chance of winning.
The recound would have to be requested within 48 hours of the vote canvass.
The deadline to finish the count is 30 days after it starts.
Biden’s lead, however, is nearly three times as large as the votes that separated Trump and Clinton in 2016.
Trump won the state over the Democratic nominee by 10,704 votes.
The president’s campaign threatened a different action Wednesday, filing a suit in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt the counting of ballots until ‘meaningful access’ to counting locations was achieved.
‘As votes in Michigan continue to be counted, the presidential race in the state remains extremely tight as we always knew it would be,’ Stepien said. ‘President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law.’
‘We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access,’ Stepien added.
The president currently leads in Pennsylania – but the biggest chunk of uncounted votes are from the Democratic urban centers of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
If it comes down to the wire, both campaigns could find it difficult to get a second count.
In 2016, Stein’s campaign found Pennsylvania’s recount laws so confusing that her lawyers didn’t know what court to file a petition in, according to Politico.
In Nevada, any candidate can request a recount for any reason – but it has to be a full recount of the state.
The candidate who requests the recount must pay for it, but like in Wisconsin, the candidate can get his or her money back if the race results flip.
Requests must be filed within three days of the state’s canvass and a recount must be completed within 10 days.