As campaign court challenges fail, Trump calls for partial recount in Wisconsin in attempt to overturn election

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign said on Wednesday it was seeking a partial recount of Wisconsin’s presidential election results as part of its long-term attempt to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.The president is also keen to hope that a manual recount ordered by the state of Georgia can wipe out Biden’s 14,000-vote lead in that country and also put the results in the swing state of Michigan into question.

While staying away from the public, Trump persisted in expressing his anger on Twitter, where he made numerous allegations of electoral fraud in an attempt to explain his loss, which was unsupported by evidence and patently false.

Election officials in Wisconsin, as well as in Georgia, said recounts in those states were very unlikely to reverse Trump’s losses.

Trump’s baseless claims the election was rigged fail in court, but opinion polls show they have a political advantage, with up to half of Republicans believing them, Reuters / poll shows Ipsos.

His campaign on Wednesday transferred US $ 3 million to Wisconsin to cover the costs of recounting the votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties, two strongly democratic areas, less than the $ 7.9 million it would have cost to a full statewide recount.

US President-elect Joe Biden listens to a question during a press conference in Wilmington, Del., November 10, 2020 (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

Biden, a Democrat, won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes to lead Trump from 49.5% to 48.8%.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said a recount would begin on Friday and end within days. Only a few hundred votes changed in the county’s recount after the 2016 presidential election, he said.

“I guess that by focusing on Dane and Milwaukee, the end result will be that Biden will have a slight increase in the votes, but nothing very significant – certainly nothing that would be needed to change the results,” McDonell said.

Trump’s refusal to concede the November 3 election blocks the smooth transition to a new administration and complicates Biden’s response to the coronavirus pandemic when he takes office on January 20.

In the state-by-state electoral college that determines the general winner of the elections, Biden garnered 306 votes to 232. He won the popular vote by more than 5.8 million.

To stay in power, Trump would have to reverse the results in at least three states to meet the threshold of 270 electoral votes. It would be unprecedented.

Biden’s margin tightens in Georgia

Gabriel Sterling, responsible for implementing the voting system in Georgia, said in a video conference with reporters that on Wednesday morning, election officials responsible for the recount had reviewed 4,968,000 ballots – almost all of those cast in the State – and found Biden’s lead over Trump in the State. had fallen to 12,781 ballots.

Before the recount, Biden led by 14,156 votes, Sterling said.

Sterling said investigators would investigate any allegations of fraud and that with every election a small number of ballots are illegally cast. But he said there was no evidence the fraud could have changed the outcome in Georgia.

Trump falsely claimed on Wednesday that the number of votes counted in Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, strongly Democratic, exceeded the number of residents.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump demonstrate in Lansing, Michigan on November 14, 2020, following the 2020 US presidential election call for Democratic candidate Joe Biden. (Emily Elconin / Reuters)

“In Detroit, there are MANY MORE VOTES THAN PEOPLE. Nothing can be done to remedy this giant scam. I win Michigan! He tweeted.

City records show that 250,138 votes were cast in Detroit in the presidential election. This is just over a third of the city’s population, which the US Census Bureau says is 670,031.

December deadline to certify results

States face the December 8 deadline to certify election results in time for the official Electoral College vote on December 14.

Congress must count the votes of the electoral college on January 6, which is normally a formality. But Trump supporters in the Senate and House of Representatives could oppose the results in a latest, long-drawn-out attempt to deprive Biden of 270 electoral votes and put the final decision back in the House.

A Reuters / Ipsos poll released Wednesday showed that about half of Republicans believe Trump “rightly won” but the election was stolen.

Seventy-three percent of all voters polled agreed Biden won, while 5% believed Trump won.

But when specifically asked if Biden “rightly won,” 52% of Republicans said Trump rightly won, while only 29% said Biden rightly won.

Election officials from both parties across the United States said there was no evidence of vote tampering, and a federal review drew the same conclusion.

Delayed transition could delay COVID-19 response

Biden and his senior advisers said Trump’s challenge could undermine efforts to contain the surge in COVID-19 cases and inhibit planning for vaccine distribution in a country where more than 248,000 people have died from the outbreak. pandemic.

Biden will meet with healthcare workers on the frontlines of the crisis at a virtual panel discussion from his home state of Delaware on Wednesday.

As he fights to save his presidency, Trump will stay in Washington during the Thanksgiving vacation next week, rather than visit his resort town of Mar-a-Lago in Florida, a spokesperson for Melania Trump.

Trump on Tuesday sacked the top US cybersecurity official, who had angered him by refusing to support the allegations of electoral fraud.

Chris Krebs has been removed from his post as head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

His work in protecting the elections from hackers and combating disinformation about the vote has been praised by lawmakers from both parties, as well as election officials nationwide.

WATCH | CBC’s Lyndsay Duncombe on Trump’s dismissal of Krebs and his reaction:

US President Donald Trump has sacked the country’s top election security official. Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, has refuted the president’s unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud. 3:18

Other Republicans cast doubt on results

Drawing inspiration from the president, Republicans across the country sought to cast doubt on the election results.

In Michigan, where Biden won by 145,000 votes, two Republicans from the Wayne County Solicitors’ Council attempted to delay Biden’s victory in that state on Tuesday, only to give in hours later.

In a county that includes the predominantly black city of Detroit and which overwhelmingly voted in favor of Biden, the two council members initially voted to block certification of the results.

But Republicans overturned their decision after more than two hours of angry public comment, voting to certify the results with the warning that the Michigan secretary of state is auditing.

In a hearing in federal court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann appeared skeptical of Trump’s demand to prevent officials from certifying Biden’s victory in that state by more than 80,000 votes.

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