Wisconsin Vote Audit Stuns Trump & Erases 271 Of His Votes

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Following the completion of canvasses in 51 out of the 72 counties in Wisconsin, President Donald Trump has lost 271 votes from his unofficial statewide total, and Joe Biden has added 10 votes on his earlier total. The canvasses constitute the final re-checks of election results in counties across the state, and following the completion of the processes, the counties have been submitting their official results to the state, which will soon officially certify the results for the state as a whole. The deadline for Wisconsin counties to complete their canvasses and submit their official countywide results is November 17.

The changes to the vote tallies in Wisconsin following the re-checks of county-level tabulations do not constitute evidence of fraud. The original tallies weren’t official in the first place, because election results go through a rigorous checking process before certification. Maricopa County, Arizona, for instance, recently completed a routine post-election hand count audit of their own results, and they did not discover a single discrepancy. In hand count audits, batches of ballots are re-counted by hand while local officials search for any potential issues in the broader count.

In Wisconsin, as of late Wednesday, Milwaukee, Dane, and Waukesha Counties were among the Wisconsin jurisdictions that had not yet completed their canvasses and submitted their official results to the state. Explanations for the shifts in vote tallies between unofficial results and official results varied across Wisconsin. In Shawano County, for instance, Wisconsin news outlet WTMJ-TV reports that the “county’s audit found a poll worker mistakenly mixed up the unofficial totals,” and fixing the issue apparently shaved 274 votes off Trump’s countywide total. In Price County, canvassing shaved 100 votes off Biden’s countywide total, and in Sheboygan County, both major party candidates lost a “small number of votes” during the canvassing process, WTMJ-TV explains.

In 2016, Trump won Wisconsin, but this time around, news outlets have already called the state for Biden, where the Democratic president-elect led by about 0.6 percent as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Cook Political Report, which translates to a Biden lead of about 20,000 votes. The Trump campaign has touted recount efforts, but there’s no reason to believe that a recount effort would swing a state with that substantial of a margin between the top candidates.

In Michigan, the Trump campaign has sued in an attempt to block the final certification of state-level election results. During a Thursday appearance on Fox & Friends, top Trump staffer Kayleigh McEnany did not rule out the possibility of Republican state legislatures appointing pro-Trump members of the electoral college to swing the election to Trump, no matter the popular vote totals in their respective states. There’s no indication that a Republican majority in any state legislature is actually willing to go this authoritarian route.

Many of Trump’s fundamental fraud claims have come up totally short. He has claimed that Republican observers have been systematically excluded from watching the ballot tabulation process, but this allegation is demonstrably false. He’s claimed that hundreds of thousands of ballots should be thrown out because Republicans weren’t allowed to watch them get processed — but again, Republicans were not systematically shut out.