Wisconsin recount would cost Trump

·2-min read

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says a statewide vote recount would cost an estimated $US7.9 million ($A10.8 million), money President Donald Trump's campaign would have to pay in advance.

President-elect Joe Biden won the crucial battleground state in the November 3 election by a margin of 0.7 percentage point, or about 20,000 votes, with 99 per cent of ballots counted, according to Edison Research.

Under state law, because the margin of Biden's win was less than 1 per cent but greater than 0.25 per cent, Trump as second-place finisher can request a recount but must pay to cover the expenses of the operation.

Wisconsin's chief election official, Meagan Wolfe, said in a statement county clerks had, as required by law, carefully estimated their costs for recounting Wisconsin's 3.2 million ballots

"We still have not received any indication that there will or will not be a recount," she said.

She said the cost estimate was "significantly higher" than the actual costs of the 2016 recount there because it included extra funds for larger spaces required for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as security for those spaces, and a greater number of absentee ballots.

"The legal team continues to examine the issues with irregularities in Wisconsin and are leaving all legal options open, including a recount and an audit," Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis said when asked if the campaign would move ahead with a petition for a recount.

Since Biden clinched victory in the election, Trump has refused to concede and repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that there was widespread voter fraud.

His campaign has filed a flurry of lawsuits, part of a larger strategy to try to overturn the election results in key battleground states, but has made no headway.

Officials from both parties have said there is no evidence of major irregularities and federal election security officials have decried "unfounded claims" and expressed "utmost confidence" in the election's integrity.

Biden beat Trump by the same 306-232 margin in the state-by-state Electoral College that prompted Trump to proclaim a "landslide" when he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Biden also won the national popular vote by at least 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 percentage points, with some ballots still being counted.