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President Trump’s marketing campaign said on Wednesday that it plans to request a recount within the state of Wisconsin, which main information shops have referred to as in favor of his opponent Joe Biden.
A recount can—in idea not less than—change the end result of a presidential race if the brand new depend results in a state’s electoral votes being awarded to a unique candidate. However, whereas recounts are pretty widespread, they virtually by no means have an effect on the end result of elections at any degree.
If you happen to’re inquisitive about Trump’s explicit recount demand, and what it’ll imply, here’s a plain English Q&A.
What kind of recount is Trump asking for?
Trump’s marketing campaign supervisor claimed with out proof on Wednesday that there have been stories of voting irregularities in Wisconsin and that the President would request a recount.
Beneath Wisconsin regulation, candidates have the correct to request a recount if the margin of victory is below 1%. Present returns present Biden main by 20,000 votes, which would seem to fall inside that margin. Wisconsin regulation permits a candidate in these conditions to request a recount of the entire state’s vote or simply particular person counties. The Trump marketing campaign hasn’t indicated if it’ll demand its Wisconsin recount to be statewide.
Will a recount change the end result in Wisconsin?
It’s all however sure it received’t. Wisconsin was additionally the topic of a recount demand in 2016 filed by a third-party candidate. The recount noticed a complete of 131 extra votes being added to the whole of President Trump—an all however insignificant quantity given Trump’s preliminary lead of greater than 20,000 votes. Provided that Biden’s lead is about the identical, it’s arduous to see how a recount might change the end result.
Can Trump ask for recounts in different states?
Presumably, nevertheless it’s unclear if he’ll. Whereas the legal guidelines of sure states require an automated recount within the case of a really shut race, others enable a recount if a candidate requests one. In some circumstances, candidates should go to court docket to demand a recount.
Election web site Ballotpedia is a useful place to search out the recount guidelines for particular person states, together with different battleground states like Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. For now, nevertheless, the Trump marketing campaign hasn’t stated it’ll pursue a recount exterior of Wisconsin—and it’s unclear for now if the margins in these states shall be shut sufficient to justify a recount demand.
Who pays for the price of a recount?
It depends on the state and the tightness of the race. In some circumstances, the state will foot the invoice if the end result is exceptionally shut. In others, the candidate difficult the vote depend should pay—as occurred in 2016 when Wisconsin required the third-party candidate to pay $3.5 million. Such guidelines might clarify, partially, why the Trump marketing campaign has but to request recounts in different states.
Extra politics coverage from Fortune:
- USPS update: The most recent on how absentee ballots are being counted in swing states
- Biden’s Arizona win makes Pennsylvania less crucial
- Uber, Lyft, and gig firms win large after Prop 22 passes in California
- This nail-biter election generated the highest U.S. voter turnout rate in 120 years
- How Trump can and can’t use the courts to form the election