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The Trump campaign has spent weeks unsuccessfully trying to overturn the results of the election

By Virginia Chamlee
November 30, 2020 01:44 PM
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President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving
President Donald Trump
| Credit: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty

Donald Trump's push to somehow uncover enough additional votes for him to win re-election proved unsuccessful in Wisconsin — where a recount completed Sunday not only confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's earlier victory, but slightly boosted his lead in the state, according to multiple reports.

The Trump campaign had paid for a recount in just two Wisconsin counties: Dane and Milwaukee, which are home to the state's two largest cities.

The recount in Dane narrowed both Trump's and Biden's votes slightly (largely due to a lack of signatures on ballots, according to the local board of canvassers), though Trump actually gained a net 45 votes there because Biden lost slightly more ballots, according to CNN.

In the Milwaukee County recount, Biden saw a net gain of 132 votes, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Biden won Wisconsin overall by some 20,000 votes.

The county-specific recount cost the Trump campaign $3 million. A statewide recount would have cost some $8 million.

As CBS News reported, the state's bipartisan elections commission said it would begin certifying Biden's victory on Monday, at which point the Trump campaign is expected to mount a legal challenge to the results statewide, following a similar pattern elsewhere.

The Wisconsin recount was the latest anticlimactic result to Trump's showy and unsubstantiated attacks on the election. Neither he nor his lawyers have so far produced proof of "fraud" or a "stolen" election, as the president has repeatedly claimed.

“The recount demonstrates what we already know: that elections in Milwaukee County are fair, transparent, accurate and secure," Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said, according to Reuters.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell echoed those remarks to reporters Sunday, saying the vote tallies in his county signified "absolutely no evidence of voter fraud in this election." 

Michigan polling place
Voters in line at a Michigan polling place
| Credit: John Moore/Getty

Trump also requested a recount in Georgia, where votes are now being tabulated for a third time after an earlier, state-ordered hand-audit which did slim Biden's lead somewhat but still showed him winning the state by more than 12,000 votes.

Georgia certified Biden as the winner of the state last week.

In other battleground states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, Trump's efforts to challenge the vote totals and the counting process have not held up in court.

But the losing legal battle has done little to dissuade the president himself: While he has been rarely seen in public since losing re-election to Biden, he has continued to make claims of fraud via his social media.

He has also attacked officials across the country — including many Republicans — for not siding with him.