Donald Trump, self-professed “least racist person in this room” who has “done more for the Black community than any president since Abraham Lincoln,” on Wednesday demanded that Wisconsin recount presidential election votes – but only in two predominantly Black counties.
President-elect Joe Biden received 20,600 more votes than Trump to win Wisconsin, but because the margin of victory is less than one percent Trump is entitled to a recount, as long as he pays for it up front. The cost to re-tally ballots across the entire state would be $8 million, so Trump decided instead to focus on Dane county, which includes the state capital of Madison, and Milwaukee.
The Wisconsin Election Commission confirmed Wednesday that it had received a wire transfer from Trump’s campaign to cover the almost $3 million cost of the targeted recount and that the campaign had filed the required petition.
The president’s filing alleges “mistakes and fraud” were committed all over Wisconsin but particularly in Madison and Milwaukee, cities with large numbers of voters for Biden. As with its election challenges in other states, the Wisconsin petition does not provide specific examples of what those mistakes or fraud might have been.
Most experts on Wisconsin politics see little chance of success for Trump because Biden trounced him in both jurisdictions. In Milwaukee County, Biden beat Trump 317,270 votes to 134,357. In Dane County, Biden beat Trump 260,185 to 78,800.
Instead, some in Wisconsin see the move as purely racist.
Francesca Hong, a Democrat from Madison who recently was elected to the state Assembly, said seeking a recount in the counties with the majority of the state’s Black residents is “the most blatant and racist form of voter suppression. For the WI GOP to continue congratulating and thanking 45 is sickening. There will be no evidence of voter fraud only voter suppression.”
This is coincidentally where 74% of the Black population in WI lives. This is the most blatant and racist form of voter suppression. For the WI GOP to continue congratulating and thanking 45 is sickening. There will be no evidence of voter fraud only voter suppression. https://t.co/WYXKkrDB38See Also
— Francesca Hong 홍윤정 (@FrancescaHongWI) November 18, 2020
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has this view. “A failed candidate, a failed campaign, and soon to be a failed recount effort,” he said.
The recount should be completed by Dec. 1.