Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Election officials in Wisconsin's largest county accused President Donald Trump observers on Saturday of preventing a recount of the president's results by, in some cases, objecting to every ballot drawn for the count.
Trump moved the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both heavily liberal, in hopes of undoing Democrat Joe Biden's victory by about 20,600 votes. Since there is no precedent for a recount that reverses such a large margin, Trump's strategy is widely viewed as the target of an eventual legal challenge that is part of a push in key states to reverse his loss of the election.
A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee brought the recount way behind schedule, district clerk George Christenson said. He said many Trump watchers broke the rules by constantly pausing the polling desks with questions and comments.
"That is unacceptable," he said. He said some of the Trump watchers "clearly don't know what they're doing."
Tim Posnanski, a county election commissioner, told his fellow commissioners that there appeared to be two Trump officials at some tables where tabs were counting ballots, in violation of rules that required one observer per table from each campaign. Posnansky said some Trump officials appeared to be posing as independents.
At a recount table, a Trump observer contradicted any ballot paper tabs pulled out of a pocket simply because they were folded, election officials told the panel.
Posnansky called it "prima facie evidence of bad will from the Trump campaign". He later added, "I want to know what's going on and why there are still obstacles."
Joe Voiland, a lawyer who spoke to commissioners on behalf of the Trump campaign, denied that his side acted in bad faith.
"I want to get to the point where I dial everything down ... and not yell at myself," said Voiland.
At least one Trump observer was ushered out of the building by sheriff MPs on Saturday after bumping into an election official who had lifted her coat from an observer chair. Another Trump observer was removed Friday for not wearing a face mask properly.
Trump paid $ 3 million as required by law for the partial recount, which began Friday and must be completed by December 1.
His team is attempting to disqualify ballot papers where election workers entered missing address information on the certification envelope the ballot was placed in, despite the longstanding Wisconsin practice.
The campaign also alleges that thousands of postal ballot papers are not in proper written form and that some postal voters have wrongly declared themselves "indefinitely". This status enables them to receive a voting slip without photo identification. These challenges were rejected.
Since the most famous Florida elections in 2000, there have been at least 31 recounts in US statewide elections. The recounts changed the outcome of three races. All three were decided by hundreds of votes, not thousands.
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Election Center 2020
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