Wisconsin court rejects Trump campaign’s recount challenge

A judge in Wisconsin on Friday rejected President Trump’s challenge to the state’s recount and affirmed Wisconsin’s certified results showing President-elect Joe Biden won the state by more than 20,600 votes. 

Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek said election officials followed the state’s voting laws and that Mr. Trump failed to demonstrate that laws were erroneously interpreted. This is the latest loss in a string of legal defeats for the president and his allies who have challenged the results of the election in courts across several battleground states. 

This case is expected to be appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court ahead of Monday’s Electoral College vote.

In their challenge to the recount, the Mr. Trump’s lawyers tried to throw out more than 220,000 absentee ballots that it claims were illegally cast by voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties. These ballots included the following: those cast during early in-person absentee voting which the Trump campaign claimed lacked proper written applications; ballots cast by people who improperly claimed they were indefinitely confined, which meant the voters didn’t have to provide photo ID; absentee ballots where clerks filled in missing witness address information, a practice that’s been in place since 2016; and ballots returned to parks in Madison. 

In his decision, Judge Simanek said election officials followed Wisconsin’s statutes regarding those practices and the ballots had been correctly tallied during the recount. 

“At issue here simply is whether or not the recount occurred in compliance with the Wisconsin election laws,” Judge Simanek said, noting this wasn’t about alleged widespread fraud. “The determination of the court is that the petitioner, appellants here have not demonstrated that an erroneous interpretation of Wisconsin’s early voting laws happened here.” 

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