A recount in Wisconsin’s largest county demanded by President Donald Trump’s election campaign ended Friday with president-elect Joe Biden gaining votes.
After the recount in Milwaukee County, Mr Biden had a net gain of 132 votes, out of nearly 460,000 cast. Overall, Mr Biden gained 257 votes to Mr Trump’s 125.
Mr Trump’s campaign had demanded recounts in two of Wisconsin’s most populous and Democratic-leaning counties, after losing Wisconsin to Mr Biden by over 20,000 votes. The two recounts will cost the Trump campaign $3 million. Dane County is expected to finish its recount on Sunday.
Overall, Mr Biden won the 3 November US presidential election with 306 Electoral College votes – many more than the 270 needed for victory – to Mr Trump’s 232. Mr Biden also leads by more than six million in the popular vote tally.
After the recount ended, Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said: “The recount demonstrates what we already know: that elections in Milwaukee County are fair, transparent, accurate and secure.”
The Trump campaign is still expected to mount a legal challenge to the overall result in Wisconsin, but time is running out. The state is due to certify its presidential result on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s legal team has suffered yet another defeat in court as a federal appeals court in Pennsylvania roundly rejected its latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.
Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the US Supreme Court despite the judge’s assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit”.
“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” Judge Stephanos Bibas wrote for the three-judge panel.
The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania.
Friday’s ruling comes four days after Pennsylvania officials certified their vote count for president-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Mr Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state.
“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday’s ruling.
On Thursday, Mr Trump said the 3 November election was still far from over.
Yet he offered the clearest signal to date that he would leave the White House peaceably on 20 January if the Electoral College formalises Mr Biden’s win.
“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Mr Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since election day.
All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on December 14 and any challenge to the results must be resolved by December 8.