MILWAUKEE (AP)– Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count.
Trump requested the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both heavily liberal, in hopes of undoing Democrat Joe Biden’s victory by about 20,600 votes. With no precedent for a recount reversing such a large margin, Trump’s strategy is widely seen as aimed at an eventual court challenge, part of a push in key states to undo his election loss.
A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee was putting the recount far behind schedule, county clerk George Christenson said. He said many Trump observers were breaking rules by constantly interrupting vote counters with questions and comments. “That’s unacceptable,” he said. He said some of the Trump observers “clearly don’t know what they are doing.”
Tim Posnanski, a county election commissioner, told his fellow commissioners there appeared to be two Trump representatives at some tables where tabulators were counting ballots, violating rules that call for one observer from each campaign per table. Posnanski said some Trump representatives seemed to be posing as independents.
A lawyer for the Trump campaign denied the allegations that the observers were acting in bad faith. “I want to get to the point of dialing everything down… and not yelling at each other,” said lawyer, Joe Voiland, according to the AP.