State Watch

Milwaukee election official given police escort to turn in absentee ballot info

A Milwaukee election official delivered absentee ballot information with the help of a police escort early Wednesday as officials worked to report ballot results in Wisconsin amid a tight battle between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, had told the press she would take a police escort to the county courthouse to report the results of more than 169,000 absentee ballots collected in the city of Milwaukee.

Officials worked into the early morning hours of Wednesday to process the 169,341 absentee ballots returned to the city, with the Milwaukee county clerk saying results wouldn’t be expected until early morning, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“We finished right when I predicted that we’d finish, and did it with accuracy and transparency,” Woodall-Vogg told reporters when asked about the vote count while en route to the local courthouse.

The mask-clad official was filmed holding a stack of papers as she climbed into the passenger seat of a police SUV for the short trip to report the results.

The official headed out from the city’s central count facility shortly after 3 a.m. local time and arrived a short time later at the county courthouse, according to local media.

Biden led Trump by about 10,000 votes out of more than 3 million ballots counted so far in Wisconsin early Wednesday.

Milwaukee County reported 317,251 votes for Biden compared to 134,355 for Trump, according to the county’s website.

Votes from Milwaukee were expected to favor Biden, along with ballots that have yet to be counted in some other areas, the state Democratic Party said.

“Based on everything we’ve seen, those ballots will decisively favor Biden. Green Bay hasn’t reported any results yet. When all votes are counted, we’re confident that Joe Biden will win Wisconsin,” Democratic state party chairman Ben Wikler tweeted.

“When the absentee ballots are counted in remaining areas of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin is likely to be where I said all year it would be — razor thin margin,” former Gov. Scott Walker (R) had tweeted early Wednesday.

Wisconsin offers 10 electoral votes, which alone will not be enough for either Trump or Biden to win the election, though the state could prove crucial to either one’s path to victory as it is part of the traditional “blue wall” that Trump flipped in 2016.

Trump became the first GOP presidential nominee to win the state since 1984, after it went for Democrats in seven consecutive elections. However, polls heading into Election Day almost exclusively favored Biden in the state this year.

Updated at 5:26 a.m.

Tags 2020 election absentee ballots Donald Trump Joe Biden Wisconsin
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