Although the majority of political experts are stating it's too early to make an outright call on the results of the 2020 election, incumbent President Donald Trump appears to believe otherwise. As millions of mail-in ballots are still being accounted for in key swing states across the country, Trump seems to be growing more and more impatient with any updates that would compromise a result in his favor. With Trump already demanding a rehash of the votes in one highly contested battleground state, many Americans are asking: Will there be a recount in the 2020 election?
On Wednesday Nov. 4, Trump's leading campaign manager Bill Stepien issued a statement about a possible recount in Wisconsin, a critical territory for both candidates in the election. "There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties, which raises serious doubts about the validity of the results," Stepien said. He did not provide evidence in the statement to support his claims. "The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so,” he added.
Meagan Wolfe, the Wisconsin elections administrator, responded by stating although the department hasn't received an official recount filing from the Trump administration, they would be within their rights to do so if the candidates are "within a 1% margin of one another," she told CNN in a Nov. 4 briefing. Per AP News, Biden is currently leading Trump in the contested state by a razor-thin .7% margin.
Over the course of his presidency, Trump has continually made false and baseless claims of voter fraud, denouncing the legitimacy of the American democratic system and preemptively sowing doubt within the results of the 2020 election. In a late September statement to Congress, Trump's FBI director Christopher Wray explained the bureau had found no evidence to support the president's claims of widespread voter fraud.
Yet, Trump continues to push the baseless narrative. "I've been saying this from the day I heard they were gonna send out tens of millions of [mail-in] ballots," the president said in his early Nov. 4 speech at the close of Election Day. "This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election — frankly, we did win this election," he added, falsely asserting a premature victory. He then went on to speak about his administration's conditions when approaching a potential legal battle in the Supreme Court: "We want all voting to stop. We don't want them to find any ballots at four o'clock in the morning and add them to the list," he said.
Mail-in ballots have been a particularly sore spot for the president, as the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has handled America's historic influx of them due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Early on Tuesday, Nov. 3, Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington, D.C., ordered USPS inspectors to conduct a sweep for over 300,000 undelivered mail-in ballots in postal facilities in 15 states across the country — including locations in several key battleground cities and states such as Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, and Florida. Although Sullivan's order required the USPS to report back with results by 3 p.m. ET, this request went ignored.
While the Trump administration is demanding a recount before the election results have even been finalized, Biden continues to encourage Americans to wait things out. "Your patience is commendable," he stated in his Nov. 3 speech at the close of Election Day. "It ain't over until every ballot is counted," he added.