The sheriff’s deputies had to remove six observers in the first four days of the recount, county official George Christenson said. An observer had to be removed twice. A “handful” of other observers were also asked to leave, although police did not, he said.
“On Friday and Saturday, we had very aggressive observers from the Trump campaign who told poll workers what to do, frustrated pollsters, intimidated pollsters, violated physical distance, and said they would protest any vote. against because they did not do so as a rule of physical distance, “said a Milwaukee election official who was not authorized.
“He’s wild down there,” the official said.
On Monday, a Biden observer was removed following a relationship with a Trump observer violating social distance rules, Christenson told CNN.
“It’s certainly a very controversial atmosphere in which we live politically. At times, they were very zealous observers. And it faded every day,” Christenson said.
Located in Milwaukee County, Milwaukee is the largest city in the state and home to the largest black population in Wisconsin. Biden beat Trump in this county by 317,251 votes to 134,355, according to unofficial results from the Wisconsin Electoral Commission. Biden won the state by roughly 20,000 votes.
Christenson said Tuesday night that of the approximately 460,000 votes cast in Milwaukee County, about 380,000 have been processed so far for recounting, the city of Milwaukee has mostly been counted, and only two other municipalities remain to be processed.
The official count of the Wisconsin Electoral Commission, which lags behind the counties, shows that Trump lost six votes and Biden lost three votes in Milwaukee County, with 16% of the municipalities fulfilled.
Counting is at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. Dozens of folding tables with acrylic glass dividing a huge windowless room with fluorescent tubes and concrete floors. People are surrounded by stickers that define their role; some say “SELECTION OFFICIAL”, “BIDEN OBSERVER” or “TRUMP OBSERVER”.
Each counter table had three chairs for observers: one seat for a Trump observer, one for a Biden observer, and a third-party observer, if any.
However, the rules had to be changed after a few Friday Trump observers returned on Saturday and claimed to be a third-party observer, the official said.
After several clerks complained about the issue, the Wisconsin Electoral Commission decided to replace every third president, unless the official said an observer from a third party was already sitting in the president.
In one case, a woman physically abused an election worker who took off her coat from a third-party observer’s chair at one table while the woman sat as a Trump observer at another table. The woman was removed by the sheriff’s deputy, although no charges were filed, the official said.
In another incident, an observer Trump, who did not cover his nose with his face mask, was repeatedly asked to wear his mask properly according to Electoral Commission guidelines. Removed after ignoring requests.
The man returned the next day. When an election official told the man that he had to wear his mask properly, the man took off his mask, told the officer he knew where the official lived, and told the official’s home address. The man was removed by a deputy for threatening behavior.
“There are no restrictions on who can be counters.” Reid Magney, a Wisconsin Electoral Commission spokesman, told CNN. Observers are not required to be a public resident, nor are they required to be registered or join the campaign they are observing.
On Tuesday, however, Christenson said the operation is going more smoothly. “There were some growing pains. As you can see, it’s a very big operation,” he said. “We tried to quickly budge these issues.”
Correction: This story has been updated with the spelling of Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson. It was also updated with a recount Tuesday night.