MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County Board of Canvassers certified the presidential election recount Friday with both candidates gaining a total of nearly 400 votes, but not effectively changing the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.
The Trump campaign paying for a recount in the state's most populous and Democratic-stronghold counties of Dane and Milwaukee.
The week-long effort in Milwaukee resumed Friday morning after a holiday break to finish the last remaining vote counting and certify the results. Early Friday evening, the board of canvassers certifying the recount that netted both president-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump a total of 382 votes: 257 for Biden and 125 for Trump.
Out of 459,723 ballots cast in the county, Biden received 317,527 with Trump receiving 134,482 -- a more than 180,000 vote victory for Biden in the county. Biden won the state by about 20,000 votes. The remaining ballots cast in the presidential race were for minor party candidates and write-ins.
"We had a good plan in place from the start and we adjusted as necessary," said Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson.
The Wisconsin Center ballroom, where the recount took place, had been a flurry of activity over the past week. It was quiet on Friday as the hours ticked by and the recount numbers were entered into the system.
Rick Baas, the sole Republican on the Milwaukee County Board of Canvassers, said that while the Trump campaign may wish for its absentee ballot application objections to be reviewed by a court, the recount process worked.
"It is important for people to understand how their government works. A recount is just that -- a recount," Baas said.
Milwaukee County presidential election recount at the Wisconsin Center
On Wednesday, officials thought missing ballots tabulated from a Milwaukee ward on election night – but missing in the recount – were found in a counting machine. However, the city’s chief election official Claire Woodall-Vogg told the board Friday morning that it turned out those ballots were in fact training ballots used at the city’s central count location on election night.
The Board of Canvassers voted unanimously, 3-0, to proceed with the city’s recount process despite there still being 65 missing ballots of 88 ballots cast from Ward 254 on election night. After the vote, the 23 remaining ballots were quickly tallied. Woodall-Vogg told FOX6 News that election officials will still continue to search for the missing ballots, despite them not likely to count.
Milwaukee and Dane counties are the most populous in the state and the recount is unlikely to change the outcome of the election. President Trump lost the state of Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes – a similar margin to which handed him the Badger state in 2016.
Dane County is expected to finish its recount and certify results this weekend. The state will then be set to certify the election results next week.