Wisconsin Starts Clock on Partial Recount: Election Update

Wisconsin starts recounts in two counties. The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the Trump administration to launch the formal transition to President-elect Joe Biden.

There are 19 days until the deadline for states to certify their results, 25 days until the Electoral College meets, 48 days until Congress certifies the results and 62 days until inauguration.

Other Developments:

Wisconsin Starts Clock on Partial Recount After Stormy Meeting

The Wisconsin Elections Commission ordered two of the battleground state’s counties to start recounts of the Nov. 3 presidential election by Saturday, following a request by the Trump campaign, which transferred $3 million for the purpose.

The counties of Milwaukee and Dane, which includes the state capital Madison, voted heavily for Biden and are home to a majority of Wisconsin’s Black voters. The statewide commission met for over five hours Wednesday night to discuss the parameters of the recount, with members dividing along party lines on proposed changes to a recount manual that would address public health concerns.

Democratic and Republican commission members ultimately agreed to allow the presidential candidates and their representatives to “view and offer any objections to a ballot being counted,” and approved some health guidelines amid the spike in Covid-19. There were sharp exchanges and divisions over how much scrutiny to apply to absentee ballots, with no modifications agreed to.

The Milwaukee and Dane county boards of canvassers can start the recount as early as Thursday, and must finish by noon on Dec. 1, the commission said. That’s also the date on which the commission must certify the state’s results. -- Amanda Albright

Business Groups Call for Biden Transition to Start (12:16 p.m.)

Business groups are joining the list of those clamoring for the presidential transition to begin.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Tom Donohue urged President Donald Trump’s administration to launch the formal transition.

“While the Trump administration can continue litigating to confirm election outcomes, for the sake of Americans’ safety and well-being, it should not delay the transition a moment longer,” Donohue told Axios on Thursday. A spokeswoman for the group, which is Washington’s most powerful business lobby and traditionally allied with Republicans, confirmed the comments.

On Wednesday evening, the National Association of Manufacturers had urged the General Services Administration to sign a letter that would kick off the transition. The group cited “the threats to our economic and national security, and most importantly, to the public health.”

Joshua Bolten, president of Business Roundtable trade group for CEOs, has also called for the transition to proceed, a spokeswoman said. Bolten served as White House chief of staff under former President George W. Bush. -- Ben Brody

Coming Up:

Elections officials in Georgia are expected to release the results of a hand recount of about 5 million votes Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence will meet with the coronavirus task force Thursday afternoon, followed by a press briefing.

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