Ballots arrive at Wisconsin Center for Milwaukee County recount

Milwaukee County's ballots were delivered to the Wisconsin Center on Nov. 19 for a recount requested by President Donald Trump's campaign.

Democrats are confident that they will win the state; Joe Biden has a 20,000 vote lead, and recounts don't sway much. After 2016's recount, President Trump ended up with 131 additional votes.

Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies will be guarding the county's 460,000 ballots around the clock at the 188,000 square-foot Wisconsin Center.

As the COVID-19 pandemic surges across Wisconsin, multiple safety measures are in place to ensure workers and observers are protected.

"I’m very confident, we did the best we could under these circumstances, and of course, to try to bring anyone together under these circumstances is wrong. It’s irresponsible by the Trump administration, or Trump campaign, rather," Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said.

Tables set up for a Milwaukee County vote recount at the Wisconsin Center

Tables inside the Wisconsin Center are spread apart and plexiglass separates people at each table. Daily temperature checks will also be administered to those taking part in the process.

"A mask will be required. If you can't wear one or refuse (to wear one), you can watch it from home," Christenson said.

Workers at the Wisconsin Center prepare for a Milwaukee County election recount

Five robotic cameras in the air and one roving camera on the ground will offer those at home a chance to monitor the process.

"There will be no opportunity for you to be shut out of this process. We have gone to every length to make this as transparent as possible," said Christenson.

As ballots are viewed and tallied by workers, observers -- including Democratic and Republican representatives -- will sit three feet from the tables.

"As the only Republican on the Commission, if I'm comfortable with it, our people need to be comfortable with it, as long as they have visibility, and that's been worked out," said Rick Baas, Milwaukee County election commissioner.

Ballots arrive at the Wisconsin Center for a Milwaukee County recount

The Trump campaign plans to challenges tens of thousands of votes. Wisconsin election commissioners said the recount could end with lawsuits.

"There’s no one action, one silver bullet that’s going to probably remedy all of the issues at once, so this is a step-by-step process to make sure that everybody who was allowed to legally vote has that vote counted once, and we maintain the integrity of the election laws," Erin Perrine, Trump 2020 director of press communications, said.

Now, the world watches Wisconsin.

"Cherry-picking Dane and Milwaukee counties is just an obvious attempt to disenfranchise voters, people of color," said Christenson.

Milwaukee County's Board of Canvassers, which is made up of two Democrats and one Republican, will judge each complaint. If a majority of the the three-person panel agrees, the challenge would be accepted, and the ballot rejected.

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The official recount will begin Friday morning, Nov. 20 and will be live-streamed online. The process must be finished by Dec. 1. 

Election officials say the stream will go live by 9 a.m. on Friday and will be available at


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