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Day 2 of Dane County recount sees steady ballot count

MADISON (WKOW) -- After a public test, the vote counting machines fired up at Monona Terrace Saturday, fully starting the recount in Dane County.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell says the recount started about the same as the last recount four years ago.

The Trump campaign brought up some blanket objections, like throwing out in-person absentee votes, or votes by indefinitely-confined people, that the board of canvassers rejected.

Once they started looking at concerns on a case-by-case basis, they did find some valid objections.

"Almost everything that we're dealing with is envelopes and whether they were filled out correctly," McDonell said. "We've agreed with the Trump campaign that they need to be drawn down, so I saw several that had no voter signature on it."

But he said of the thousands of ballots they're looking over, the amount of ballots thrown out is miniscule.

"It's a small percentage, although there are a lot of envelopes compared to four years ago," McDonell said. "Usually it'll be a handful per ward."

Even though he says observers have raised some legitimate objections to ballots, many have not and there have even been some ballots that the machines had not counted in the first place.

"You find votes for Trump or Biden that the machine didn't count, so that can increase at another point in the process," McDonell said.

He expects that the recount process may last until the deadline of December 1st but hopes it speeds up as more people learn by doing.

"[Trump campaign observers] were objecting to things that were being brought up, and [Trump campaign lawyers] were like, 'No we don't care about that', and you know people don't know, and it's a learning curve so that also helps speed things up," he said.

Most of the observers were for the Trump campaign.

A Biden campaign spokesperson there said they didn't feel the need to have as many people there, because they didn't want to put people at risk during the pandemic, and they weren't the ones disputing the election results.

No one from the Trump campaign there made any comment, saying it was the official stance to refuse to talk to the media.

Victoria Saha

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