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Biden Gains 87 Net Votes In Partial Wisconsin Recount Requested By Trump

An election official pauses during the ballot recount earlier this month at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. After recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties, President-elect Joe Biden narrowly increased his winning margin over President Trump.
An election official pauses during the ballot recount earlier this month at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. After recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties, President-elect Joe Biden narrowly increased his winning margin over President Trump.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday

A partial recount in Wisconsin concluded Sunday with President-elect Joe Biden's winning margin over President Trump increasing by 87 total votes.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell told reporters Sunday that Trump netted a gain of 45 votes in the county, which includes the capital Madison. That followed Friday's completed recount in the state's most populous county, Milwaukee, where out of roughly 460,000 ballots cast, Biden made a net gain of 132 votes on review.

The results offer unwelcome news for Trump, who lost to Biden in Wisconsin by roughly 20,000 votes, and lost the national popular vote by more than 6 million.

The Trump campaign paid the Wisconsin Elections Commission a fee of $3 million to proceed with recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties. The two counties, which together account for roughly a quarter of the state's population, swung heavily for Biden with 69% and 75% of the vote, respectively.

Trump said on Twitter Saturday that his team will file a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's results prior to the state's certification deadline on Tuesday.

Trump and his allies have repeatedly and baselessly claimed that widespread fraud decided the election for his rival — not just in Wisconsin but also in other battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan. Those claims have not held up in court, however, and Trump's legal setbacks have mounted in recent weeks.

"Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so," federal appellate Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote in an opinion released Friday denying the Trump campaign's challenge of the results in Pennsylvania. "Charges require specific allegations and then proof," said Bibas, whom Trump nominated to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. "We have neither here."

The defeats have failed to dissuade Trump, who continued to tweet false claims overnight, saying without evidence that the votes against him in Pennsylvania and "all other swing states" were "RIGGED."

Still, his efforts may be having the unintended effect of underlining the veracity of the election results. Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said Friday that the recount's results should affirm voters' faith in the election process.

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

And on Sunday, Dane County's McDonell told reporters that the recount showed "there was absolutely no evidence of voter fraud in this election."

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