Milwaukee County recount nears completion, with 65 uncounted ballots remaining

NOW: Milwaukee County recount nears completion, with 65 uncounted ballots remaining

Updated: 8:29 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2020

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee County recount looked like it was done Wednesday, before a surprise twist -- more uncounted ballots were discovered late in the day.

Those 65 ballots will be processed on Friday.

Officials were ready to wrap up the count for most of the day until those ballots surfaced. That pushes the end until after the holiday, when the 2020 election in Milwaukee could finally be over.

"There's always stragglers, there's always other issues that pop up right at the last minute, and as I mentioned, it certainly did," said Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson.

After recounting hundreds of thousands of ballots over six days, election officials thought they reached the bottom of the pile.

But late Wednesday, more were found inside one of the voting machines, right where they were left on Election Day.

The ballots were counted on Election Day, and will now be added to the recount.

While it won't change the outcome, officials say it's still important they were found.

"This is good for voters, we want to make sure their vote counts, and this is great."

Once the last ballots are counted in front of observers Friday, the recount is finally over.

Unfortunately, this won't end the election in the state just yet. The GOP has filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court asking the certification to be stopped.

That certification is scheduled to happen Dec. 1.


Posted: 12:49 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2020

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee County's portion of the Trump campaign recount is close to the finish line.

There were 47,000 ballots left to count at noon. That number has been shrinking hour-by-hour.

The Milwaukee County Election Commission said Wednesday, Nov. 25, the recount is back on schedule. 

“We are back on track and things are running very smoothly,” said Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson. “I am incredibly appreciative of hard work of the local clerks, their election staff and my election staff who are completing their work in a timely and orderly fashion. We are moving right along, and expect we’ll be done before the end of the weekend.”

By noon on Wednesday, workers had processed approximately 413,000 out of 460,000 ballots, including all 169,000 absentee ballots from the city of Milwaukee, and most of Milwaukee’s ballots that were cast in-person at individual polling locations on Election Day.

The Milwaukee County Election Commission said only two municipalities had yet to complete their count as of noon on Wednesday: The city of Greenfield, which was about halfway finished with the machine counting process, and the city of Milwaukee.

Once the recount is finished, the commission will send a final report to the state. 

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by Republicans wants to block Wisconsin from certifying the results. It asks for the Legislature to choose the state's electors in the electoral college instead. 

Christenson believes the lawsuit has no merit.

"I think it's just another frivolous lawsuit by the Trump campaign, and desperate attempt to somehow claim victory where it doesn't exist," he said.

The recount must be complete by noon on Dec. 1. Volunteers will take Thanksgiving off. The recount will resume again Friday.

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