Wisconsin voters turned out in record numbers Tuesday, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, but officials are actively preparing for a recount as President Trump signals he will challenge Biden’s narrow victory by only a 0.6 percent margin.
Wisconsin saw a 72.67 percent turnout rate in Tuesday’s general election, which failed to surpass the 2004 record of 73.24 percent turnout among the voting age population.
Wisconsinites casted an unofficial 3,296,374 votes, surpassing the record set in 2012. WEC Administrator Meagan Wolfe credited voters and officials for a smooth election.
“I am so proud of Wisconsin’s voters, not just for the record numbers with which they participated in their democracy, but for the peaceful, civil way they did it in this extremely challenging year,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe also said the commission is “actively planning” for a recount and will be coordinating with all 72 county clerks who “have the primary responsibility for conducting the recounts.” Trump cannot request a recount until after the last county reports its certified results to the state, which will likely be before the Nov. 17 deadline.
Trump would then have just one day to file for a recount. The state changed the three day deadline to one day after the 2016 presidential recount, which only changed about 1,500 votes out of nearly 3 million ballots, according to WPR.
Since the margin is more than 0.25%, Trump would have to pay around $3 million for a recount if he requests it.
Wolfe also reminded voters to seek trusted sources of information regarding the election after misinformation was circulated Wednesday.
“Wisconsin doesn’t have more votes than registered voters. It’s impossible. There were no absentee ballots found in the middle of the night. Lawyers and observers for both political parties were on-site and involved the entire time,” Wolfe explained. “Clerks followed the law and counted ballots until they were done.”
Wisconsin Watch discredited falsehoods about the election, including a Tweet by a conservative commentator that incorrectly claimed that Wisconsin had more votes than registered voters.
Wolfe also explained that 39 municipalities used central locations to count absentee ballots, rather than individual polling places. Those jurisdictions posted central count absentee numbers after all absentees were tallied. That is why Trump appeared to have a lead until Biden pulled ahead when results from Brown, Kenosha and Milwaukee counties were added.
Wisconsin’s results will remain unofficial until the results are certified at the municipal and county level by Nov. 17, and by the state on Dec. 1.
state news writer