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Trump campaign to request recount in Wisconsin as Biden takes state

A campaign spokesman claimed there had been ‘reports of irregularities’ but did not provide any evidence.

Image: Matt Slocum

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump’s campaign team has announced that it will immediately request a recount of votes in Wisconsin after Democrat nominee Joe Biden won the key battleground state.

“There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results,” campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement.

Stepian did not provide any details about the reports he was referring to and there appears to be no evidence for the claims.

“The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so,” he added.

The statement came in the immediate aftermath of the crucial swing state’s Elections Commission Administrator revealing that all ballots had been counted. Officials in Wisconsin are expected to officially declare a winner in the coming hours. 

Trump’s campaign also said that it had filed a lawsuit to stop the counting of votes in Michigan until “meaningful access” was granted. It also demanded to review ballots that were opened and counted when it did not have meaningful access.

There is no clear winner in the crucial state, which has 16 electoral college votes. A total of 270 electoral votes are required to be declared the winner of the election. 

An estimated 3.3 million people voted in Wisconsin, which has 10 electoral votes. With more than 97% of the ballots tallied, several US news outlets were reporting that Biden was leading by around 20,000 votes, representing a margin of about 0.7%. CNN and AP both projected that Biden has won the state. 

If Biden does eke out a victory in the Midwest state it will make Trump’s path to retaining the White House significantly more difficult. 

Shortly after Stepian’s comments, Biden published a tweet suggesting that his campaign could request recounts of their own. He said they were seeking donations so that Democrats could establish “the largest election protection effort ever assembled”.

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Trump’s campaign also asked to intervene in a pending US Supreme Court case over whether Pennsylvania should be permitted to accept late-arriving ballots sent by Election Day.

The Trump campaign accused electoral officials of prohibiting its “observers” from approaching closer to 25 feet (7.6 metres) to vote counters in Pennsylvania.

“We are also suing to temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law,” deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said in a statement.

The US Presidential election in 2016 also resulted in a recount in Wisconsin after Green Party candidate Jill Stein challenged the results. The 10-day recount did little to change the final tally of votes, seeing Trump’s margin of victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton drop by 131 votes to 22,748. 

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Ceimin Burke

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