Wisconsin recount confirms Joe Biden victory over Donald Trump

Second Wisconsin county finishes recount, confirming that Biden beat Trump by more than 20,000 votes in the US state.

Observers watch ballots during a hand recount of United States presidential votes at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee [File: Nam Y Huh/AP Photo]

The recount of presidential ballots in Wisconsin’s two largest counties has finished, confirming that United States Democratic President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in the key swing state by more than 20,000 votes.

Dane County finished its recount on Sunday, according to the county clerk, a few days after Milwaukee County finished its own recount.

Each recount produced little change in the final breakdown of the more than 800,000 ballots cast in the state.

The recounts were ordered by the Wisconsin Elections Commission after Trump paid $3m to recount ballots in the two biggest and most liberal counties in the state. Election officials accused Trump campaign observers of attempting to obstruct the recount, in some cases by challenging each ballot that was brought to be counted.

The Trump campaign alleged irregularities in the counties, but no evidence has been presented of illegal activity.

In the end, Biden’s overall lead over Trump in Wisconsin grew by 87 votes, assuring him the state’s 10 electoral votes.

Vow to continue legal challenges

On Saturday, Trump, who has refused to concede the election, preemptively vowed to challenge the recount results in court, tweeting: “The Wisconsin recount is not about finding mistakes in the count, it is about finding people who have voted illegally, and that case will be brought after the recount is over, on Monday or Tuesday. We have found many illegal votes. Stay tuned!”

The tweet was labelled by Twitter as being “disputed”. The president and his allies have so far not presented any evidence of widespread fraud or voting irregularities in the contest.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign, in a statement to the Associated Press, said the recount “only served to reaffirm Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin”.

The results are the latest blow to Trump’s narrowing attempts to overturn the election.

He and his surrogates have lost legal challenges in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. An effort to pressure Republican election officials to block or delay the certification of votes in Michigan also failed last week.

Meanwhile, a full hand recount of ballots in Georgia maintained Biden’s victory. The state is currently conducting another recount, this time using electronic tabulators, at the request of the campaign and at the cost of state taxpayers.

Biden is currently projected to win 306 electoral votes, well above the threshold of 270 needed for victory under the Electoral College system. That margin means Trump would need to overturn the results in several states to change the overall outcome of the race.

Despite his dwindling prospects, Trump on Sunday, in his first complete interview since Biden claimed victory on November 7, told Fox news he is unlikely to abandon his unfounded claims that widespread fraud carried Biden to victory.

“It’s not like you’re gonna change my mind. My mind will not change in six months,” Trump said, as he fixated on the fact the he appeared ahead in early election night results, well before many key states had even started to tabulate Democratic-leaning mail-in ballots.

Nevertheless, in the same interview, Trump expressed doubt that his myriad legal challenges, which he and his surrogates continue to appeal, would be heard by the highest court in the country.

“The problem is,” he told interviewer Maria Bartiromo “it’s hard to get it to the Supreme Court.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies