Trump-Funded Recount Turns Up More Votes for Biden Ahead of Wisconsin Certification

Results for one of the two counties President Donald Trump's campaign paid have been tallied, giving President-elect Joe Biden a slightly bigger lead over the president in the 2020 election.

The Trump campaign spent $3 million for a partial recount in the Wisconsin's Milwaukee and Dane counties. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the Milwaukee County recount found 257 more votes for Biden and 125 for Trump, giving Biden a slightly larger lead of 132 in that county. The final recount showed 317,527 ballots cast for Biden and 134,482 for Trump.

Dane County is anticipated to finish its recount by Sunday. As of Saturday, Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said that officials were about 83 percent done with the recount.

The deadline for recounts is Tuesday, so the state election commissions can certify the election.

Beginning of Day 8 Dane County recount. 285,621 ballots counted. 83% complete.

— Scott McDonell (@samcdonell) November 28, 2020

"There was an examination of every ballot by election workers, a meticulous recounting of every ballot that was properly cast, a transparent process that allowed the public to observe, a fair process that allows the aggrieved candidate who sought the recount an opportunity to observe and object to ballots they believe should not be counted," Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said, reported the Journal Sentinel.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that voter fraud cost him the election in many of the states he lost. Many of his allegations have been debunked and dismissed.

Rick Baas, a Republican member of the County Board of Canvassers, cited human error as the reason for any mistakes. "I trust the Trump campaign is looking forward to its day in court. There were a number of things that had to be corrected, and they're often represented as just human error, and usually they are," he said.

"It is important for people to understand how their government works. A recount is just that: a recount. There's evidence that will be taken to another level, and it'll be reviewed there, but as this body has conducted itself in a manner that is exemplary," he continued.

The Trump campaign has filed several lawsuits to try to prove that voter fraud cost him the election in a number of swing states, such as Pennsylvania. Most of the lawsuits have been dismissed.

On Twitter, people mocked Trump for the results of the Wisconsin recount, with people pointing out the irony. Katie Couric tweeted: "Be Careful What You Wish For."

Under the headline: Be Careful What You Wish For...

— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) November 28, 2020

This year has been so tough for many people, so let us all be warmed by the good news that Donald Trump paid three million dollars for a Wisconsin recount that ended up giving Biden a hundred and thirty-two more votes.

— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) November 28, 2020

Let me get this straight: against the expert advice of everyone and anyone credible, Donald Trump paid $3 million for a Wisconsin recount that wound up giving Biden more net votes? Oh, that's beautiful. That's art.

— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) November 28, 2020

According to the Associated Press, Biden won Wisconsin by a very small lead with almost 21,000 votes. Biden received 49.6 percent of the vote, and Trump received 48.9 percent.

On Saturday afternoon, Trump tweeted that the recount was for "finding people who have voted illegally," rather than "finding mistakes in the count." He claimed that the campaign has found illegal votes and will be brought about on Monday or Tuesday, after the recount is finished.

The president ended his tweet by telling his followers to "Stay tuned!"

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!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2020

In an emailed statement received by Newsweek, Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis said the Dane and Milwaukee County recounts showed "serious issues regarding the legality of ballots cast." The full statement reads:

The recounts in Dane and Milwaukee Counties have revealed serious issues regarding the legality of ballots cast. As we have said from the very beginning, we want every legal vote, and only legal votes to be counted, and we will continue to uphold our promise to the American people to fight for a free and fair election.

Milwaukee Recount
Election officials wait as procedural issues are argued during the process of recounting ballots from the November 3 election at the Wisconsin Center on November 20, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Getty/Scott Olson

Update 3:25 p.m. EST: This story has been updated to include Trump's tweet about the Wisconsin recount.

Update 11/29/20 2:53 p.m. EST: This story has been updated to include comment from the Trump campaign, which was received after the story was originally published.