CHICAGO (CBS) — A recount could very likely be on the horizon again in Wisconsin. Wednesday morning before the state was even called for Joe Biden, President Donald Trump’s campaign manager put out a statement saying he would ask for one, but according to election law the president may be jumping the gun on that.
Absentee ballots were delivered via police escort late election night, just some of the more than 1.9 million returned in Wisconsin. The sheer volume is one reason election totals took so long to count.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work done by Wisconsin’s election officials, and I feel 100% confident in the election that they conducted,” said Megan Wolfe with the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
President Donald Trump does not share that confidence, his campaign manager said Wednesday morning. There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties, which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The president wants a recount.
“I think that it’s insulting to our local election officials,” Wolfe said.
According to election laws, President Trump can only ask for a recount if the voting margin is less than 1%, which it is right now. He cannot formally request it until Nov. 17, the deadline for Wisconsin’s counties to turn over their vote totals to the state’s election commission.
There was a Wisconsin recount in 2016, driven by then presidential Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Pollster Charles Franklin does not expect a recount would make much difference.
“A 20,000 vote margin this time, by most accounts, is rarely changed by more than a few dozen to a couple of hundred votes,” said Franklin.
Wisconsin was expected to be close. As things stand now President Trump could lose the state by almost the same margin he won it in 2016. That year he opposed the same recount he is requesting now.
“The surprise is just how narrowly divided we are and what that portends for the next four years,” said Franklin.
If the president of his campaign makes that formal recount request, he will have to pay for it. Estimates suggest it could cost around $3 million.