The Trump campaign filed a petition Wednesday for a recount in two Wisconsin counties, shelling out $3 million to cover the costs of trying to undo a projected win for presumed President-elect Joseph R. Biden.
President Trump’s legal team singled out Milwaukee and Dane counties, claiming absentee ballots were illegally altered and issued. They also allege Wisconsin voter ID laws were circumvented.
“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.
Wisconsin represents the biggest lift of the states the president and his team are trying to flip from pro-Biden to pro-Trump.
Mr. Trump trails presumptive President-elect Biden there by less than a percentage point — .7%, or about 20,565 ballots — in a state the president won four years ago by about the same percentage.
The six-page petition filed with the Wisconsin Elections Commission notes state law requires absentee ballots to be issued only upon written request by a voter.
The Trump campaign claims county clerks issued them without the applications from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1.
“On information and belief, more than 60,000 votes were cast in Milwaukee County alone in violation of these mandatory statutory provisions,” the filing reads.
Wisconsin law allows a voter who is “indefinitely confined because of age, physical illness or infirmity or is disabled for an indefinite period” to mail absentee ballots without further providing proof of identification.
The complaint charges that Scott McDonell, the Dane County clerk, and the Milwaukee County Clerk instructed voters to declare themselves “indefinitely confined.”
According to the filing, those voters claiming to be confined rose from 72,000 in 2019 to 240,000 in 2020.
The recount petition wants the absentee ballots that were issued without applications and by falsely claiming “indefinitely confined” to be tossed from the certified results.
Lastly, the petition notes that in Milwaukee, GOP poll observers were not allowed to observe mail-in ballots to object to any errors. The Trump campaign has made similar allegations in other states, including in federal lawsuits pending in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
At this juncture, the most likely path to victory for Mr. Trump would be through Pennsylvania. If Mr. Trump were to succeed in undoing Mr. Biden’s projected win in Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump would then have to do the same in Arizona or Nevada and emerge victorious in the recount in Georgia.
A hand recount is underway in Georgia where at last two counties have discovered thousands of ballots that had not been originally tabulated.
The discovery, though, has not yet changed the election results in Georgia where Mr. Biden currently leads the president by 13,977 votes.
The president’s supporters are also pushing for an audit in some areas of Arizona.
The Arizona Republican Party asked a state court this week to halt Maricopa County from certifying its election results. It’s a state Mr. Trump won in 2016 by 3.5%, but he’s now lagging by 10,377 ballots or .3%.
The president is not part of a federal case in Nevada, but that’s also a state seeing election litigation.
A federal court dispute was brought by a voter and Republican congressional candidates who are alleging voter fraud and irregularities in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. The suit claims that thousands of nonresidents voted in the state illegally.
Another legal battle in state court was filed Tuesday by some of Mr. Trump’s Electoral College candidates in Carson City, alleging irregularities and fraud, specifically raising concerns with the signature scanning machines for mail-in ballots used in Clark County.
Mr. Trump is behind Mr. Biden by 33,596 votes in the state.