Racine judge affirms election results, striking blow to Trump’s efforts to overturn election results

    President Donald Trump shrugging and making a face looking skeptical disbelieving
    Donald Trump Credit: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0

    President Donald Trump, like the Chicago Bears, has racked up five five straight losses in the state of Wisconsin. 

    On Friday morning, Racine County Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek affirmed the results of the presidential election recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties, striking a blow to Trump’s efforts to toss out hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites’ ballots. 

    “The certification of the results of the 2020, Wisconsin presidential election, after the Dane County and Milwaukee County recounts is affirmed,” Simanek said. “There is no credible evidence of any misconduct or wide scale fraud. At issue here simply is whether or not the recount occurred in compliance with the Wisconsin election laws.”

    The Trump campaign had attempted to invalidate thousands of absentee ballots over procedural issues. The campaign’s lawyers argued that ballots cast through the state’s  in-person absentee voting process, at the City of Madison’s “democracy in the park” events, by indefinitely confined voters as well as those that were  fixed by elections clerks adding missing information where witness addresses were incomplete should not be counted. 

    All of the Trump campaign’s challenges attack long-standing Wisconsin election practices that were in effect — and unchallenged — when Trump won the state in 2016. 

    The Trump campaign can still appeal Simanek’s decision, an option Trump lawyers signaled they would pursue at Friday’s hearing. 

    While the Trump campaign continues to use every option available to it to overturn Wisconsin’s election results in state court, a federal lawsuit making similar arguments is still pending in federal court. 

    At a hearing held on that case on Thursday, Trump-appointed Judge Brett Ludwig seemed skeptical he could overturn the state’s election results and hand Wisconsin’s ten electoral votes to Trump. 

    “It’s not lost on me that this is a political case, obviously, and that the relief that’s been requested, if that relief were granted, this would be a most remarkable proceeding and probably the most remarkable ruling in the history of this court or the federal judiciary,” Ludwig said.

    Ludwig is expected to make a ruling by Saturday. 

    The electoral college meets on Dec. 14 to cast 306 votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

    Henry Redman
    Henry Redman is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner who focuses on covering Wisconsin's towns and rural areas. He previously covered crime and courts at the Daily Jefferson County Union. A lifelong Midwesterner, he was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in journalism in May 2019.