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'Trump will be proven the winner': Campaign releases statement on Wisconsin recount

"The Wisconsin Elections Commission has repeatedly failed to follow the law," Jim Troupis, Wisconsin counsel to the campaign, said in a statement.

Updated: November 20, 2020 - 6:09pm

The Trump campaign, which has filed a petition for a statewide recount in Wisconsin, said Friday that when all legal ballots are counted — and illegal votes thrown out — Trump "will be proven the winner.”

"Our democracy depends on fair and impartial elections that fully adhere to the Constitution and state statute," Jim Troupis, Wisconsin counsel to the campaign, said in a statement.

"By staging a last minute attempt to change the rules, and by providing unlawful advice before then, the Wisconsin Elections Commission has repeatedly failed to follow the law. They have disenfranchised voters and undermined the integrity of this election. We continue to be confident that when all of the legal ballots are counted and illegal ballots are not counted, President Trump will be proven the winner," Troupis said.

Earlier this week, Trump's reelection campaign requested recounts in two Wisconsin counties, citing illegally altered absentee ballots, illegally issued absentee ballots, and "illegal advice given by government officials allowing Wisconsin’s Voter ID laws to be circumvented."

The recount is now underway, and the tally is due before Dec. 1, when the state Elections Commission is set to certify the results. 

The two counties — Milwaukee and Dane — were chosen because they are the sites with "the worst irregularities," the campaign said, adding that they have transferred $3 million to Wisconsin to cover the cost of the recounts. 

"The Wisconsin Elections Commission directed Wisconsin municipal clerks to illegally alter incomplete absentee ballots contrary to Wisconsin law," the campaign said in a statement Wednesday. "Clerks were instructed that they could rely on their own 'personal knowledge,' or unspecified 'lists or databases at his or her disposal' to add in missing information on returned absentee ballots. Under Wisconsin law, incomplete absentee ballots may not be counted."

A count of Wisconsin's 72 counties showed Democrat Joe Biden leading Trump by 20,608 votes. While that's a slim margin, a recount of the presidential votes in the equally tight election in 2016 resulted in a net change of 131 votes, meaning Trump won by fewer than 23,000 votes that year. 

Trump lost handily in the two counties from which his campaign is demanding recounts. In Milwaukee County, Biden won 317,270 votes (69.4%) to Trump's 134,357 (29.4%). The result was even worse in Dane County, where Biden got 260,185 votes (75.7%) to Trump's 78,800 (22.9%).

"The people of Wisconsin deserve to know whether their election processes worked in a legal and transparent way," Troupis said. "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."

"We will not stop fighting for transparency and integrity in our electoral process to ensure that all Americans can trust the results of a free and fair election in Wisconsin and across the country," Troupis said.

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