MADISON – The Wisconsin Elections Commission today ordered a partial recount of presidential election results in Dane and Milwaukee counties after receiving a recount petition and $3 million payment from the Trump campaign.
The order comes following a meeting of the six-member, bipartisan commission late Wednesday at which the commission unanimously approved the recount order. (A copy of the order is attached.)
The recount order requires Dane and Milwaukee counties boards of canvassers (BOCs) to convene by 9 a.m. Saturday, November 21, and complete their work by noon on Tuesday, December 1. The county BOCs may start their work as early as today.
The Dane County BOC will meet at Monona Terrace in Madison. The Milwaukee County BOC will meet at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. Each BOC will issue its own public notice for starting and meeting times, and must include 24 hours public notice.
At its meeting Wednesday, the WEC also unanimously approved changes to its Recount Manual designed to ensure representatives of both presidential campaigns have access to ballots and other materials during the recount. “… it is clear that the ballots and materials must be available for candidates and their representatives to view and offer any objections to a ballot being counted,” the revised manual states.
The revised Recount Manual with changes to the observer and public health sections highlighted will be posted shortly to the commission’s website. The rest of the manual remains unchanged.
The WEC also unanimously approved a three-page memorandum from staff containing Public Health Guidance for Recount Proceedings.
Proposed revisions to the manual about when a county’s Board of Canvassers should examine requests for absentee ballots during a recount were not approved following a series of 3-3 votes. The commission requires four votes to approve a motion.
Separately, the WEC unanimously approved guidance for 190 municipalities that will be conducting voting equipment audits before the certification deadline of December 1. The guidance includes a November 27 deadline for completion of the hand-count audits, which are designed to confirm the accuracy of voting equipment. More information about voting equipment audits is available on the WEC’s website: https://elections.wi.gov/elections-voting/voting-equipment/audit-page.
“We understand the eyes of the world will be on these Wisconsin counties over the next few weeks,” said Meagan Wolfe, administrator of the WEC and Wisconsin’s chief election official. “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.”
Here is the timeline for a recount:
Wednesday, November 18, 6 p.m. – The Wisconsin Elections Commission held a special meeting to discuss details of the partial recount for president and to review supplements to the Recount Manual in light of public health guidance. Information about the meeting and how to attend online is at https://elections.wi.gov/node/7247.
Thursday, November 19, 2020 – The Commission Chair issues the Recount Order. This starts the 13-day recount clock and is also the first day that recount boards can meet.
Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 9 a.m. – The deadline by which county boards of canvassers must convene for the recount (no later than 9:00 a.m. on the third day after the recount order is issued).
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 – The deadline to complete the recount. This is also the deadline, under Wisconsin law, for WEC to certify results from the General Election. Therefore, recounts must be completed and results must be filed with WEC by noon on December 1, 2020.
Complete information about Wisconsin’s recount laws and procedures is at https://elections.wi.gov/elections-voting/recount.